The thing about gratitude …
Life has a mysterious way of handing you its obstacles and challenges accompanied with its marvels and pleasures. Scripted differently for each individual, it directs, produces and edits each life as it sees fit, such like a film. If you choose to accept the life handed to you, and work through its ups and downs, you may just be living your film in the likes of romantic comedies, and fairy tale endings. If you choose to continually complain of the life handed to you, with no true effort made on your part to see its’ good, well your film becomes more melancholy and dark. It all depends on the character you choose to be and the characters you choose to act beside you. The truth is that with persistent diligence and tireless gratitude, life truly presents itself to you as a gift; every time. You just got to choose to open your eyes to it.
What is the gift of life? Is it the mundane existence we have grown accustomed to? The robotic daily routines we follow, carrying out our so-called tasks or, better yet, our responsibilities? Is it the accomplishments we achieve necessary for our species to move forward, intellectually and physically? Or is it just the journey we march from birth to death, regardless of meaning or purpose of any sort? Is that what life is or should truly be about? Just to be alive, live and die? Does it even matter then? Well, that is up to you.
It is up to you to make life matter, whatever the circumstances you may be in, because at the end of the day the only control you have is not the life handed to you, but the way you choose to live it. Whoever said life was meant to be easy anyways? It cannot be if it is supposed to be fun as well. At least that is how I choose to see it. Coming from an enlightened point of view, I have come to understand that I saw life in a whole other way than my understanding of it now. Actually, come to think of it, I do not think I ever truly thought about life as such. Too busy choosing classes, getting a job, assimilating in a new culture, partying, falling in love, falling out of love, and everything else involved with college life.
Using myself as my own example of an adolescent and a youth, I was only aware of gratitude when I was given either a physical reward, or any basic occurrence that presented itself. Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving, and my birthday, of course; like I said only the basics. Everything in-between always seemed to pass me by. I was never truly present in any one moment long enough to appreciate it. Life was a blast, and yes I enjoyed it, but I did forgot to be thankful for it. Alas, I was too young to understand the power of gratitude. Little did I know that gratitude brought about more pleasantries, as I would like to put it.
Once I started to focus on what I was thankful for, and made efforts to only notice the good in all my challenges, mistakes and faults, my eyes began to open up to unbelievable and unexplainable miracles. I began to catch many of the beautiful connections that were being synergized right before my eyes; if I only chose to see them. When I centered myself and chose to honor a moment, sure enough another moment would reveal itself to be thanked anew. I thought, this is magic. I mean, why not believe it to be so?
This attitude of gratitude became my routine. I made it my obligation to be thankful for everything small and big. When I noticed a flower in the midst of a construction site, just standing out, I would thank it for its beauty; sure enough a little ways down the road I would come upon a small garden patch with more flowers to be admired. When I was stressed and anxious at my last job, I would thank the opportunity for the experience, and sure enough I learned what I needed to move on and move out. When certain relationships went sour, I thanked the lesson for happening to me, in order to make me a better person the next time. The list goes on.
The thing about gratitude is that it results in pure miracles. Miracles that the human mind is more than equipped to perceive, but has been sadly distracted to do so. Its infectious too, one thank you can only lead to more. If you can practice saying thank you to every single thing that comes up in your mind that you know you could not do without, like sipping your hot cup of coffee in the morning in the mug you like so much on your porch, trust me more of those moments will accommodate itself to you. And if you can go further than that and thank the moments of sadness, hardships, and pain, you will be blessed with the miracle of strength and perseverance like you have never known. The thing about gratitude, is that its pure magic. Just believe in it.