An Attitude of
Not So Much Gratitude
Friends, it is that time of year. Everywhere your eyes look, you will see something about having an attitude of gratitude (and Christmas decorations, but that’s another topic). Be thankful! Be grateful! Can I be honest with you? Some days, my attitude of gratitude is one broke down disaster. Oh yes, it is true. There are days I grumble and mumble under my breath concerning my many woes. I rage (silently and in my head of course) of those failing to meet my expectations. Road rage may also occur, occasionally. But an attitude of gratitude? That bad boy is nowhere to be found. Right now, a good friend is receiving an insane dose of chemotherapy to treat an invasive, aggressive breast cancer. Thankful? Nope, not even a little bit for that situation.
Shake it Off Sister
TSwift may have been onto something as she sang the line, “Shake it off.” When my attitude exudes anything but gratitude, it is best to shake it off. For instance, I read a post by my friend of how others have been serving, loving, and helping her. Or, as she says, “Love walked in.” My eyes filled with tears, instantly (something that is not a common response for me). I was overwhelmed by the love others are showing her. There are many miles, and a couple states, between my house and hers, and I would really like to be by her side. However, reading how others are walking alongside of her was the one-two punch my bitterness needed. Finally, gratitude walked in.
Maybe gratitude has more to do with perspective than everything going the way I want.
Today, I am grateful for the cool weather. Fall is my absolute favorite season. The colors are vibrant, and the Texas heat no longer threatens to dehydrate us all. The holidays are approaching, and we will be surrounded by family. Fall, I am grateful for you, the changes you bring, and the fresh breath of air you are to me. Also, I am grateful for the humans taking my friend meals, showing up just to be with her, to take her to appointments, and to fill her needs. Mercy, I am so grateful for those people. I am grateful for those who do not call my dreams and goals silly, but encourage me to pursue them. And, I am thankful for the lessons my heavenly Father is teaching me, lessons I will be sharing with others. His love and care for us is truly magnificent.
How Do We Maintain the Attitude of Gratitude?
Right now, in this moment, my attitude is firmly resting on gratitude’s lap. But what about hours from now? What happens when something happens? How do we keep from kicking gratitude to the curb?
- It’s all about perspective. A few months ago, I found myself in the E.R. (again). To say I was less than pleased is an understatement. However, I chose to be grateful for all the machines and I.V.s meant to help me heal. I was intentional about thanking every nurse, doctor, and attendant. Find the right perspective, and you will maintain gratitude.
- Make a list. No, not a to-do list! Make a list of everything you are grateful for. You can write down small things, like your favorite type of pen, a warm cup of coffee or tea, the sound of rain, mountains, or the sound of rain in the mountains while you drink your coffee (or is that just me?)! Whatever comes to mind, write it down. Every morning, put pen to paper and write what you are grateful for. Starting the say in this way definitely boosts an attitude of gratitude!
- Say thank-you. Those two little words are magical. Whether you are thanking a cashier, a banker, a teacher, a boss, a spouse, a child, a friend, or any other human, the simple act of saying “thank-you” increases gratitude. As an added bonus, you will be brightening someone else’s day. We all win when we thank one another. (Full disclosure: I have yet to practice thanking people who cut me off, run red lights, and drive like maniacs. I’m working on it.)
- Smile. Smile, go ahead. Just smile. It’s okay, let the corners of your mouth loose and allow yourself to smile. You feel better, don’t you? Now, much like with number 3, smile when you see any other human. Your smile can change the course of someone’s day my friend! Yes, a smile is that powerful. Furthermore, smiling makes gratitude easier. While I have no scientific data to support that statement, I have personally found it to be true.
Yes, I Hear You, Gratitude
Friends, I hear Gratitude inviting us to walk alongside it. Can’t you hear Gratitude, “Do not keep me to yourself, give me away!” Walk with it, experience it, and share it with others. Maybe this whole attitude of gratitude should be practiced more often than the time around Thanksgiving. Maybe, the attitude of gratitude is what we are called to as believers. Consequently, following the Father, trusting Him to lead me, allows me to give thanks in all things.