Gratitude is a philosophy
We are all familiar with the experience of feeling grateful. The simplest example being, when something happens which results in pleasure and the feeling is acknowledged. Being thankful for what is received, be it something tangible or energetic. This comes and goes with the changing of the circumstances and so by nature it is dependent.
A deeper form is observing a broader view or set of circumstances. Taking notice of the topography, making note of having clean running water, acknowledgment of living in a free country and having our basic needs met. Recognizing that things could be worse takes a little more motivation. At this point there is a desire toward joy, looking at the glass half full tips the scales in your favor. There is purpose in your line of thinking and investment in how you choose to see your life story.
When gratitude becomes a philosophy there is no need to decide how you see the glass. Being half empty or full is irrelevant. At this point, you have decided at a fundamental level that you welcome whatever comes your way. Circumstances do not run through an internal course of judgment. There is no process to file information, so to speak, into positive and negative sections to respond from. No, this is much deeper. This is a daily practice of acceptance and faith in something bigger than you. A space in your heart that says there is value in whatever comes. There is knowledge and wisdom from experience in all variations that is greater than the means in which it comes. A deep sense of saying “yes” to life and the freedom from spoiling the practice with bitter binary thought. Believing life is good even when it feels hard tells your heart to open up and receive. Receive all of it. Embrace the journey of life and drink in every moment with optimism and curiosity. Don’t just simply have gratitude occasionally. Practice being gratitude. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. There is always a silver lining to every cloud, if you choose to see it.
Bridgette DeBoer M.A., is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, marriage and family therapist. She can be reached at 450-6632.