Thanksgiving is around the corner and as we begin to plan our big Thanksgiving feast many of us are shifting our focus to being in a place of gratitude. We think about all the blessings we have and all the ways we can give back to our families, communities, and the world. For some, this is not the case and the weight of the world can really bring you down. We are constantly pressured to be the best and have the best of everything. Leaving us never fully satisfied and unhappy with ourselves or the world around us.
Why has this become such an issue in today’s world? We often go through life working to build an image of ourselves that is almost impossible to achieve and then feel bad about ourselves if we haven’t achieved it. We seek to have the perfect house, car, spouse, children, body, hair, the most likes on Facebook, and even sometimes the healthiest diet, only to still feel dissatisfied with never reaching the “perfection” for which we long for. Achieving perfection is beyond the reality of this life because even if you attain perfection in your own eyes, there will always be someone around you who sees it differently.
I am naturally a perfectionist. This is one of my strengths, but as many of us know, our strengths can very often be our weaknesses. My perfectionist has caused me to be very driven and focused in all that I do, helping me to achieve many of my goals. However, life is all about balance and my need for perfection can easily turn, causing me to become overwhelmed and unhappy with myself and/or my situation. Feeling like I always need more instead of being fully present and happy with what I have now.
This is where GRATITUDE kicks in! Gratitude reveals to me the beauty of life as it is, not as I wish for it to be. Gratitude is what I turn to in any crisis or difficulty when I feel like things aren’t going as planned. Gratitude is my companion. It turns my feelings of lack into feelings of abundance, and moments of confusion into moments of clarity. It can turn any failure into a success and any mistake into an opportunity to grow.
It seems that we have an unquenchable urge to conquer and have it all, to be that image of perfection. But when does it go from being a pursuit of the good to being obsessed? I notice my energy shift when I focus more on the imperfect in myself and the world around me. We forget that life is not about the destination, but the journey.
I am a believer that our thoughts manifest into reality. So, if we focus on the lack of, the failures, and the negative experiences in our lives, we leave no room for abundance, unity, wholeness, joy, and positivity. It is impossible to feel truly grateful and harbor hatred in our hearts, to show gratitude, but still, be unkind. Gratitude promotes peace and love in all of life’s situations, especially the hardest ones.
Find ways to cultivate gratitude in your life. Practice makes perfect. We won’t always be happy with every outcome or situation we are in, but if we choose to practice this gift of gratitude, positive feelings will flow naturally. It is much easier to see the gifts of life when we are thankful for what comes into our path, good or bad. Seek ways to be thankful, every day.
Start the moment you open your eyes. Think of three things you are truly grateful for and why. Create a gratitude journal. If you need reminders, put gratitude notes all around your house and in your car, and at work. Remind yourself of the abundance in your life. Do this every day for a week and see how the world changes around you, and especially inside you. Everything becomes lighter and brighter. Positivity and joy will shine through all that you do. When you are thankful for the experiences you have had, the people with whom you’ve connected, and all that you have brought into this world in your very being, you will draw more and more things into your life for which to be grateful, and the circle of gratitude continues.
As I said earlier, being a perfectionist has really challenged me to take a hard look at myself, and when I see that I’m being hard on myself, or negative about a situation, I center myself back into the gratitude circle, and I know that I am closer to peace, acceptance, and hope. No need to worry about the things we don’t understand, for those are the things that bring us the opportunity to learn and grow. Neither focus on the things you lack, but appreciate the opportunity to have something for which to strive for. Be thankful for each challenge you encounter for it gives you strength and prepares you for the next stage of your life’s journey. Know that the desires of the heart are always available, once you are open to receiving them. With gratitude, we see the riches the universe offers in every moment!
Have an attitude of gratitude and IN ALL THINGS, GIVE THANKS!
With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s the perfect time to share what you’re grateful for. Comment & share below what ways you cultivate gratitude in your life and share with us all the abundance you’ve received this past year. Stay tuned :)