Friday, May 01, 2009

Gratitude Attitude

For this week's enCouragingBliss exercise, BlissChick challenges us to reflect upon those events, experiences, people and things that bring us bliss. She also upped the ante by asking us to reflect upon those unpleasant times when life requires us to transcend the ordinary and address difficult situations. It's easy, when life feels pleasant and positive to find our gratitude attitude. But ... maybe not so easy when life does not travel the path that and provide the experiences which we wanted. Where's the bliss in that, you ask? Oh, it's there, I assure you ~ don't confuse your heart's inability to see bliss with the absence of bliss.

You know what? After over a month of making daily entries in this gratitude journal, I find that I give thanks for it all! My oldest and dearest friend (of 28 years) told me several years ago, when life doesn't go the way you want it to, when you feel like your life sucks, God's telling you you're on the wrong path. I call this God whispering very loudly into my heart. And, yes! For this I must also give thanks. How I appreciate those times when someone notices I have taken a wrong turn, and then points me in the right direction! And so, God whispers loudly into my heart, giving me another opportunity to revisit the road map and plot another course. Only, I must have the volume tuned up so I can hear those whispers. I have found the volume button in my gratitude attitude.

A gratitude attitude shines its light, even on the dark and shameful spots in my shack. For example, failure. Yes, I hate failing at anything. However, failure provides me with an opportunity for improvement. Failure keeps me humble. It reminds me I must ask for help, rather than stewing in the despair of my failure. It teaches me to forgive myself. It requires that I refrain from judging. It forces acceptance ~ oh, dear reader, that's hardest of all, at first.

On day 22, I made a fairly large and foolish mistake. The consequences, while somewhat unpleasant, could have proved much more severe. I received a second chance, of sorts. And, that evening, in my daily gratitude entry, For second chances received appeared first on my list. In fact most of the items in that entry focussed on this mistake. The very exercise of keeping a daily gratitude journal empowers me to see everything with a different set of eyes. So that, when faced with a turn of events that doesn't go my way, I can skip over the anger and despair, and shine my light on those tasks that require humility and courage ~ (1). acceptance, and forgiving myself, (2). evaluating ways for my improvement, and (3). reminding myself that my will and God's will sometimes differ.

Keeping this gratitude journal has allowed me to taste the sweet fact that happiness is the road map, and not the destination. Like Dorothy, each of us has a pair of ruby slippers that will take us where we need to go ~ where the universe needs us to go. Happiness, bliss, joy ~ think of these as the ruby slippers we all wear, and not some sparkling emerald city that lies at the end of a circuitous, infinite and unserviced yellow-brick road.


stirringthejam said...

gratitude is a powerful thing, and you have captured it's benefits beautifully!

Christine Claire Reed said...

Oh, goody, it works! :)

First, great great post about this.

Second, who designs your blogs? They are all so lovely! :)

Emma said...

It sounds like you pay attention to your bliss moments daily. How wonderful!

Kavindra said...

How lovely to click the link from blisschick and find a whole gratitude blog. Very cool.

I am loving all your quotes here.

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