The practice of positivity is something I’ve tried to excel at for years. I’m not saying I’ve perfected it by any means, but I can usually find a silver lining in any situation. The silver lining I find may not be best-case-scenario, but it usually points out that “things could be worse.”
For the past week, here are 5 things that helped me practice gratitude:
- We live in a community that has several churches. I attend the Catholic church for Mass when I am able, otherwise we attend a Methodist church as a family. This week we not only had our regular Sunday service, but a Fat Tuesday dinner followed the next evening by the Ash Wednesday service. I am thankful for an active church to attend that welcomes me even though I am not a member.
- I attended a parent meeting at the high school which covered changes in the credits for high schoolers as well as the importance of taking the ACT test. Additionally, the principal listed many resources available free of charge to the kids that give them opportunities to earn added credits and scholarships. As we sat through this meeting, I could not help but look at my daughter and be proud of everything she has accomplished during this stressful time in her life and done so with grace and resilience.
- After several days of rain. . . and rain . . . and more rain, we were able to work in the yard for a bit and burn two piles of leaves. It was good to be outside working and it was good to have warmer weather. (Also, the smell of natural cover fire is one of my favorites — you can take the girl out of the fire service, but she will always be a firefighter.)
- We did a little thrift store shopping the other day. In the process of moving from Missouri, the top of one of my wax melt lamps broke. It was a small ceramic dish which simply sat on top of the lamp. Savannah picked it up, the top slid off and into the floor breaking into several small pieces. For less than a dollar, I was able to find a small plate that was just the perfect size for my lamp.
- I woke up with a horrendous headache — that did not make me feel gratitude. What did make me thankful (and I cannot count them) is the number of times both Sam and Savannah came to check on me as I laid down, rubbing my back or my shoulders and giving me hugs. I have tried to teach all my children to have “empathy” so when I see it in action, it touches my heart.
I think starting with five things is a “doable” number, but if you don’t subscribe to this practice . . .I gotta warn you. Once you start thinking of things or events or people that cause you to feel gratitude, and once you start expressing that gratitude, you will never be the same. When gratitude becomes a habit, it becomes commonplace in your thinking and behavior.
Try it on for yourself and see if it doesn’t become easier and easier to find things for which you are grateful!