Tuesday, March 1, 2016

52 Weeks of Gratitude Week 8 and 9

Week 8 and 9 of the 52 weeks of gratitude challenge! Week 8 was express gratitude to 3 people and week 9 was log how you did and felt.

I will admit, I chickened out. I only expressed gratitude to 1 person. I guess I'm not very good at it when it isn't in the moment. Other than saying thank you to people at the store, or someone who opens a door for me, I found it difficult to go out of my way and tell someone why I was grateful for them.

However, I do understand the importance of gratitude and hopefully I make up for it every night when I pray and express gratitude to my Heavenly Father for all He has blessed me with. I also know that living a life without gratitude will lead to a life of depression. The most depressed human beings I know show very little gratitude. In fact, there is a commonality with grumpy behavior and entitlement. People who are miserable are very consumed with themselves and often feel little gratefulness. I have noticed that people who are particularly picky have forgotten how blessed they really are.

Just a random example. Someone might be superbly picky about their food. It might be cold, or not cut right, or it just didn't satisfy them. What you will come to know is that no food will satisfy them. They will eat a very fine meal and always find something wrong with it. They have forgotten how to be grateful for food. They are so worried about themselves they don't remember that much of the world has very little to eat. Cold or hard or chewy.

Another example would be someone who constantly points out the negative side of every circumstance. I used to be guilty of this and I'm sure I still slip up now and then, but I have made big efforts to change because I became really annoyed with people who only see the negative. It could be a beautiful sunny day outside, spent with family and loved ones, and a negative person will say, I forgot my sunglasses. I don't want to be here. Or whatever. You get the point. They will point out silly stupid things just to ruin a moment. They have forgotten that some,l countries are plagued with war. Some countries do not have the freedoms we have. Some places it is not even safe to be outdoors and a negative person will complain about the sunshine!?

The truth is, the more blessed we become, the more petty our complaints become. The ugly truth is, the more petty we are the more opportunities God provides for us to be humbled. Now, a negative person would choose to believe this means they live a hard life, or that God is picking on them in some way. They will claim the victim and go on living more bitter than before. They don't see how simple it is to be humble, to be grateful, and to overcome those obstacles. Because once you have been refined, God has little need to "refine" you further. It is ironic.

When you forget to be humble and grateful, your life is steered by misery, selfishness, and depression. You cannot find joy in even tiny things, because you are so worried about finding things wrong with your life. I always want to improve on this and hope I can get better and be a good example to my children. Being grateful brings you closer to Christ and helps you live a happier more fulfilling life. It is a skill and takes time to develop, but anyone and EVERYONE should do it.