Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and can’t think beyond the immediate situation whether that be lack of finances, dislike of our job, house repairs, anger at a spouse or significant other, our children’s poor behavior or a multitude of other daily events. Sometimes these thoughts take over our life and we can’t seem to move forward.
Now think of times in your life that you were so happy and content that you wanted the feeling to last forever. The birth of a new baby, wedding, engagement, while playing with children, a windfall of cash whether it be income tax return – inheritance – bonus, vacation, everything working the way you planned.
We need more of the feelings we receive from the latter when we are happy and content in life. We can have this everyday maybe at different levels but it is always there and available to us no matter what is occurring outside of us. Even if we are ill, know someone who is ill, have lost a loved one, or had any other life events that cause a trauma, sadness or leave us at a loss for what to do.
You may be saying this isn’t possible. How can you remain happy and content in life if you just found out you have cancer or a loved one has a terminal disease? Or you may wonder how anyone can be happy if they become unemployed, can’t pay the bills, foreclose on their house.
There are people who do remain in a place of contentment and find something to be grateful for no matter what the circumstance. You have heard the expression if one door closes another opens. Look at people you may know who have lost jobs they despised. Even though they despised the job and complained about it daily, the loss of that position made them face a closing door. What if they had been grateful to have a job, to receive a paycheck, to enjoy getting up and going to work with their coworkers. When they no longer had this position they became grateful for the job and angry that it was no longer available. Now they had to face the new world of job searching, maybe learning new skills, reevaluating what was important in a job and heading in a different direction. They may have decided to start their own business in a field they love. As they move forward in this new position they become grateful that they were laid off or fired because it put them on a trajectory to where they wanted to be. It may have been the push they needed to move them in the direction of their dreams.
For someone who is ill, maybe they were living a life filled with stress or displeasure, not properly caring for their body. This is not for all people who become ill but if you look around there are many that are ill as a result of their eating poor diets, smoking, consuming too much alcohol or drugs, taking too many prescription drugs, lack of exercise, constant stressing over what might be. Sometimes an illness can be the wake up call – your body letting you know what you are doing isn’t working. Many times after a stressful situation that continues in the person’s mind well over the time of the event they may become ill. There are people who once they find out they are ill change their diet and begin a healthier lifestyle. Maybe they quit smoking after a heart attack and begin to eat natural food, adding more fruits and vegetables into their meal. They begin walking daily or join a gym, participate in a 3 or 5K event. They realize they are grateful for the illness that change their lives.
My question is why not just be grateful everyday for what we do have. Today I am grateful that I have a job that provides a decent salary with benefits, a rental home that keeps me safe and warm, food to eat, a car to drive, an Apple computer and iPhone. I didn’t always have these luxuries. When my children were small we didn’t have a car so I walked them to the babysitter and then walked the mile to work. We didn’t have a telephone (a time before cell phones) or a television. We spent our time together dancing to records on the turntable (we didn’t have CDs then). The kids played outside with the neighborhood children and they all came to my house to play and have snacks. They built an airplane from the toy box and wood in the back of the apartment and we played hide-n-seek in our house. We didn’t have very much but I was grateful everyday that I had my children and a job to pay the bills always knowing that their was more. Knowing that we would have more one day. I didn’t sit and feel bad, I searched for ways out of the situation. This is when I decided to find a way to attend college. Taking one course at a time, in the evening, over an eight year period I finally received an Associates in Science degree. My position in the factory changed from dish machine operator to Customer Service Representative to Office Manager, handling shipping and production, and eventually over the nine years I accepted an outside sales representative position. There were times of stress, three-month unemployment, little food to feed the children but we survived and looking back I feel this was due to feeling gratitude everyday the day – not every moment of the day – but throughout the day. In the midst of financial difficulty we could still dance, play, and focus on a better life in the future. I was grateful I had a job, that we had a place to live, and lived in an area where neighbors helped neighbors. It wasn’t the best location but it was safe and there were plenty of children on our street. I never doubted that the situation was temporary.
The day I received my Bachelor Degree from a private college I thought this was it. I was grateful to have received my Associates Degree so the BA was a bonus and the result of meeting the right people who guided me along the way. When I walked the stage at SUNY Albany to receive my Master’s Degree, I once again stood in awe because I knew anything was possible. Being open to receiving and meeting people along the way opened doors for me. There were many people along my path that provided insight, direction guidance and love. Not all of the advice and direction was welcomed at the time presented but they all provided direction needed at the time and I am forever grateful.
Live in the space in between – a grateful space between where you are and where you want to be. That space where people and events occur that clear the path to your future. Learn to be grateful in that space. Last year I walked the stage at UCLA to receive my Creative Writing diploma and tears filled my eyes because when I was that young mother walking to the factory job I had dreamed of the day I would graduate from UCLA. Dreams come true and once one is fulfilled have another waiting or in process.
Never give up, always continue to move forward one step at a time. Your dream today can become your reality tomorrow if you can just be grateful for where you are today knowing you are steps away from where you want to be. Smile once in a while and be friendly to all. You never know when the person you are speaking with in a coffee shop or while standing in line at the grocery may be a person to open a door and take you one step closer to your goal or you may be that person for them.
If you are interested in learning more about taking steps to reach your goals, please fill out the contact form below for a free one hour coaching session. I would love to hear from you and guide you on your path.
Live large, be grateful, and love life!!
Love and Light,