A couple of Fridays ago, I had coffee with a good friend. We’ve been acquainted for a long time, so conversations usually go beyond the usual weather and kids kind of talk. This time, we got to talking about Gratitude, and its importance in our day-to-day experience.

The consistent expression of Gratitude has several effects in the life of the Grateful. It causes us to consciously examine, and take a positive view of our current situation. That helps us to expect positive things in the future, which leads us to attempt things that we might not, if we took a negative approach. In turn, as we accomplish these new things, we become more grateful. In time, the practice of Gratitude simply becomes one of our defining characteristics.

A few years ago, I was coaching a client who had a problem with one of her co-workers. “She’s just so stupid and lazy. I don’t even like being in the same room with her”, she said. I challenged my client to find one reason to compliment this person, every day. In our next session, she said, “I’m glad you had me do that. I wasn’t seeing all of her. You helped me broaden my focus, so I wasn’t only seeing her faults.” It’s the same in most other circumstances. Many times, we need to broaden our focus, to see more than the unpleasant things.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should be grateful for everything. Some things are inexplicably horrible, and to be grateful for them, at least in that moment, would be inappropriate. Who can be thankful when their child is dying, or they’re watching a house fire destroy everything they have?

What I am saying, is that we should find something to be grateful for in every day, if we can. Even on the day that a child is dying, something positive happened. Although the house burned down, and all was lost, other things were happening, too. Of course, we might not be able to see beyond those terrible things at the time, and that’s alright. There’s nothing wrong with allowing ourselves to completely process those events. We just cant let them become the focus of our lives. As soon as we can, we must begin to see the good.

In his letter to the believers at Philippi, Paul the Apostle said, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” When we do this, our hearts will be encouraged and we can be grateful. Then, peace can come in.

Thanks to you, for reading and sharing. Have a marvelous day, and enjoy the life you’re living.

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