I am a great believer in the power of gratitude;to help us feel more content in life in spite of it’s challenges and as the antidote to so many things in our lives. Being grateful and giving thanks for the things in our lives doesn’t mean we disregard our pains and trials, and it doesn’t mean that suddenly all those unfair things about life and in the world are fixed. Rather it means that in spite of those things we still have the capacity within us to find joy in our lives and notice the goodness of life. It is healing and enriching.
Gratitude means that we recognise that however hard life is at the moment or whatever chaos is going on in the world, we can find some peace and contentment in focusing our minds and hearts on those elements of it that we recognise as blessed and wonderful.
Gratitude, especially towards God, for the goodness in each day that we enjoy, is both healing and strengthening!
Some days it might be green light when we were late, a simple meal, getting everything done we hoped to, a sun set, a walk, a friend, our family, a hug from our child, our favourite place or treat, or a trip somewhere, a gift, our home, clothing, fresh air, perspective, a promotion … the more we are mindful of what is good in each day, the more gratitude blossoms and helps us to feel more content and happy about it.
At the end of last week, Russel M Nelson – Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to the world in an inspired and heartfelt 11 min message called #GiveThanks. In it he not only offered a wonderful prayer of healing for this world but also a message of hope and motivation for all. His invitation in it was to post over the next 7 days on social media about something or someone you’re grateful for using the #GiveThanks hashtag. Doing so he promised that we would each feel more peace and healing with all that is happening in life right now.
I don’t often talk about my religion or faith, especially recently as it wasn’t that long ago I faced a major faith crisis and wasn’t really sure where everything fitted in with me or what I thought about it anymore. It was a very low point in my life and quite heartbreaking too… However, a lot of that has settled now and after a tonne of reflections, conversations, prayer and some “wow” experiences in my life, I have found more assurance in my faith and religion and consequently I have tried harder to live it more fully and embrace the things I love about it.
I still have a few question marks I continue to work to figure out, but that’s okay – I think it is healthy to consider in all things both sides of the coin. For me however, even after this, it ultimately came down to the fact that the fruits of it have always been good in my life and nothing bad has come as a result of going to church and dedicating my life to God! In fact, quite the opposite – I feel I am richly blessed and happy in my life.
Being a Christian and believing in God and Jesus Christ is my normal and lifestyle – it is such a source of joy and strength to me and yet I can’t even fully explain it. Following their teachings helps me have self confidence and an awareness of my true worth; they help me be kinder, more forgiving to others, to teach my children all sorts of things (religious and not) and it provides our family with hope and love as we live it and pray together. Reading scriptures or singing hymns might seem really weird to people but honestly it really gives me such a lot of joy – not just that, but the things I learn through my church and study gives me direction/focus, helps me be a better version of myself, work on my weaknesses and provides me with endless opportunities – to learn, to grow, to change and especially to help others.
It reminds me of what is good about life, excites me, motivates me and helps me to understand all the facets of life a little better. And, it helps me to have a bigger perspective on so many things.
It makes Christmas and Easter time so much more special and offers me an awareness to seek divine help and notice miracles! It gives me hope and happiness everyday in so many areas of my life.
World religious leaders often give the world guidance and sermons that really inspire and for me, hearing the prophet of my own religion speak always inspires me. This small message last week was one with power and one that I know can help anyone who chooses to join in with it. Being grateful in our lives isn’t just a religious thing, but rather it is a powerful thing that is life changing – especially if you are having a hard time.
This simple mindset change really is healing and peaceful because when we are grateful and aware of what is good in life (however big or small) and when we give thanks for the things in our lives, we begin to see less comparisons made about ourselves and to others. We feel less envy and judging of them and ourselves, less negativity and less feelings that life is so unfair for us. Gratitude helps us to feel lighter and happier about life and we are more attuned to the goodness in it. It helps look out of ourselves to bless others too because we realise we actually have so much – be it skill, talent, kindness or material things.
Therefore, I have embraced the invitation to share daily gratitude over the coming week. It is already something I have tried a lot to do over the last year or so anyway – to be more grateful in my life for the big and small things, and I have seen such a change in my life and attitude. I am grateful for this week however to have my mind once again focused on the goodness in life and to see my social media feeds flourishing with positive and heartwarming posts of all of the things others are grateful for too – it has reminded me of further things I can give thanks for and it has really humbled and uplifted me too.
I hope you too will join in and flood your social media with a little more goodness, unity, joy and awareness of the blessings in life too – despite the struggles, heartaches and challenges happening.
I have said it before, but the best thing that I have discovered is that gratitude makes me so much more content and at peace, in spite of all the craziness and hard things in the world. And guess what – it will for you too!
Why not join this movement and #GiveThanks for the big and small in you life!
I #givethanks for ….
Life & Love
Marriage – and a husband who makes me feel loved, joy, safe and supports me.
Family – the one I have now, the one I was born into, the one I married into – I love them all so much!
Children and being a mother – the joy they bring to our homes, the lessons we learn from them, their pure love and the joy of watching them play together and find happiness in the simple things
Being a woman
Faith and a loving God
My home / Food / Water / Clothing / A car
Nature and a good view
Sand and beaches
Swimming in water
The sun on my skin
Tulips and beautiful creations
Chocolate & an array of good foods
Travel – preserved history, new cultures, new adventures and beauty all over the planet
That we always have enough for our needs and also to share with others when it is needed
Music / Singing / Dancing
Friends and Neighbours
Books and Films
Learning and education
Talents and skills
Uniqueness & Difference
Modern technology and inventions – light / Heating / WiFi / Cookers / Washing Machines etc
Silence and moments to think, be and reflect!
And so so many more things!!!!!