Reflections

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  1. Malag

    Gratitude helps me focus on what’s right or ok as it is. To appreciate something, flaws and all, is a gift in itself. It helps me see what’s good or right in the world. There’s a skilled balance between that and rose tinted positive thinking that may try to suppress what is not so good. There’s plenty of the not-so-good too; and we need to notice that also, if we are to make a difference. 

    3 years ago
    1. Malag

      Looking at other comments, now, I see I am not alone in this “rose tinted” observation

      3 years ago
  2. Adrisoren

    When you are grateful, your heart is open, you feel joy and compassion for others and yourself. When you are in that state you can’t see the world as bad, you see only the good.

    3 years ago
  3. Sarah M

    It shows you the world is still a good place

    3 years ago
  4. Drew Blanton

    It just helps me see that not everything is as it seems. When you have a bad day, remember that it’s only your mind that makes it seem bad. All of your days are really good because you’re alive,

    3 years ago
  5. hellokasi

    Working as a public servant, it’s easy to focus on the negative interactions I have throughout the day. Gratitude helps me bask in the positive interactions and brush the negative off. When the only interactions I retain are positive, it makes the world feel like a more positive place.

    3 years ago
  6. sunnypatti48317

    Practicing gratitude routinely brings about a change in perspective where one, or at least *I*, cannot help but see the good in the world. Yes, there are still bad things that happen, or sad things, or tragic things, but within them, if one looks hard enough, there is a glimmer of hope. A silver lining, I suppose. Like what Trish said about someone being in so much grief because they loved so much… I recognized that in my aunt when my uncle died this past fall. And while he is definitely missed, how wonderful for him to leave such a legacy of love and laughter and family and faith that so many of us miss him and still grieve when thinking of him. I have never done well with death, but as I’ve made gratitude a daily practice, I can see it from a different perspective now. Amongst other things 🙂

    3 years ago
  7. Don Jones

    Sincere heartfelt Gratitude comes from a place that carries an energy that is founded in love and compassion. Thoughts, feelings and creative actions that flow from here manifest as thriving and blooming.

    3 years ago
  8. Melissa

    Gratitude stops me in my tracks when I start to feel sorry for myself or only look at the challenges that are difficult. When I ask myself to look, feel and see all the amazing luck, love and support I have it changes all to my feelings to one big sigh of grateful relief. I am humble in those moments for all that I do have.

    3 years ago
    1. Mica

      ‘start to feel sorry for myself’ – thanks Melissa, that’s a good reminder

      3 years ago
  9. Toni

    Gratitude moves me beyond what I see and leads to joy of what could be by opening up to the possibilities in the present moment. By acting as if all is well even when life is challenging. It’s an act of appreciation to what is and opening up to reality with a sense of calm and peace that life is the director and I am the actor trusting the process that enables me to go with the flow without resistance to change. The attitude allows freedom to choose better and live fuller than the limitations of my mind. It’s a focus on what’s in the now and not an escape or delusion. It is an acceptance with lightness of heart. It enables me to make the best of what’s going with what I have now not in the future but now so I can appreciate what is showing up. I woke up in a terrible funk but knew that this group would help me change my attitude and hearing Brother David and reading some responses has giving me the energy I need to begin this day over again by simply gratitude even with resistance and I don’t have to be a slave to it. Old patterns can change and I don’t have to give in. I am not as limited as I feel sometimes.

    3 years ago
  10. Antoinette

    Gratitude helps me from falling into negative thinking and depression.
    Having a chronic illness makes you teaches you to never take what most people take for granted. For example many people may not be grateful for their teeth because they are so used to them just doing their job, until they have a toothache! So for me I’m grateful for all of the things in everyday day life that are wonderful. The blue sky and the wonderful fresh vegetables I’m adding to our soup today are things I’m very grateful for. Being able to take a walk makes me see all wonders there are around me.

    3 years ago
    1. Mica

      stops ‘negative thinking’ – thanks, Antoinette. You all are giving me good answers

      3 years ago
    2. expati

      I agree. This reminds me of how I view miracles as different from the dictionary definition. The latter spells it out in terms of the exceptional and extraordinary. But to me seeing a sunrise, or a dog happily running, are the kinds of miracles I notice as such.

      3 years ago
      1. Holly in Ohio

        Everyday “quiet” miracles like spotting a praying mantis or ladybug in the garden, watching the maple leaves come out on trees in the spring, listening to a talented musician… I like this thought!

        3 years ago
  11. SK

    No matter what happens in my day or in the world at large, I always have the hope for the goodness of people; the beauty of the landscape and what I hold dear in my heart. I choose joy. I choose to see the “better-ness” of as much as possible. I have eliminated the distractions in life (TV, radio, newspapers, etc) that would pull me away..

    3 years ago
  12. Katrina

    I went on vacation last week for the first time in over a year – it was the vacation I had planned for and waited on all during COVID, and was still masked for during traveling. The first full day of vacation I woke up sick – unable to eat or drink or hold anything down. By the second day of this I was sure this long awaited time was doomed and had been a waste of time and money. But then I remembered my friend who was caring for me and also giving up some of her long-awaited time away, I took a long look outside my door at the lovely scenery and I gave thanks. I gave thanks for the compassionate people at the local clinic who received me and treated me with dignity and certainty. I gave thanks for the ability to sleep, watch TV, rest; that I had insurance that I could depend on. Gratitude made what first seemed not only unbearable, but depressing and a waste, not a gift and even an adventure – thought not an adventure I would want to repeat.

    3 years ago
    1. Kevin

      And, I hope that you are feeling okay now, Katrina. Time to start planning your next getaway!

      3 years ago
    2. Y
      Yram

      I am so glad your time away turned around. Kudos for taking action and changing your attitude.

      3 years ago
  13. Holly in Ohio

    Most people are good, whether or not they are heroic. But we live in an age where there is unprecedented distrust in our society of each other. We did not get to this place without the work of trolls, negative “entertainers,” hate groups and fear mongering, and I’m not confident that gratitude alone can bring us out of this dark place of distrust.

    Regardless of our politics, race, or beliefs, we have to be willing to listen to each other, ask questions, care for each other, ESPECIALLY those different from ourselves. We need to learn again that we are one family. There is real work to do beyond gratitude… we need to protect voting rights while ensuring they can’t be tampered with, re-haul police training and set up national standards for policing and pursuit, prevent hate and ignorance from burning like wildfire across the internet social media, rout out hate groups and domestic terrorists, reach out to the disenfranchised youth, draw people away from irresponsible talk radio and irresponsible news stations, teach each other, and especially children, how to evaluate what they are told for truthfulness.

    In spite of all the troubles revealed in the last few years, I see a lot of good. I see more and more people “get it.” Even in my own family, I have seen large transformations and a desire for individuals to go from just commenting on the news and politics from the sidelines, to participating and wanting to help fix problems. I’ve also seen and been encouraged by more people and companies far and wide taking actions to reduce their carbon output and start pushing for changes to fix climate change, help wildlife, and clean up pollution. I’ve seen and heard of so many people doing truly heroic and selfless acts this year, caring for others. I feel like just having EYES and EARS without cynicism helps me to see good in the world, though it does melt my heart when I see good, and gratitude or awe follows.

    What comes to mind is, “Seek and ye shall find.” If we seek bad in the world we can certainly find many examples of it and justify a worldview of pessimism and fear that the end is near. If we seek good in the world, we will also find many examples of it. If we seek to serve, we find things we can do. On which can we build a better future? Which will feed our own spirit into health? Which inspires? Which brings gratitude?

    Like the native American parable, there is a good dog and a bad dog. Which is the one that grows stronger? The one you feed.

    So my answer is, I see good in the world when I feed the good dog.

    3 years ago
    1. Mica

      the good dog and the bad dog – thanks, Holly in Ohio, for the reminder

      3 years ago
  14. Trish

    Gratitude opens my heart to see the beauty in everything, including the pain & travesty that surrounds us. It’s not rainbows & glitter, it’s tenderness, people coming together to touch the lives of another, it’s the fact that someone loved so deeply that causes their incredible grief. This beauty is breathtaking….

    3 years ago
    1. J
      JDS

      “that someone loved so deeply that causes their incredible grief . “
      Beautiful .
      ♥️

      3 years ago
  15. GratefulOne

    Immensely. Today I started doing this exercise of listing things that are amazing as I encounter them. Breath, sun, birds, sky, family, coworkers. I am in awe of these things. But if I think for a moment, I am grateful for them as well. When I stop to take a moment, the amazing things make me grateful and those amazing things are SO GOOD!

    3 years ago
  16. Carol

    For me, gratitude offers a lens that sees the cup half-full instead of half-empty. It offers a perspective that life is truly a gift. It sees situations not problems and is not prone to labeling people or things as good or bad. It makes one a better listener.. It prompts me to pray for wisdom in all circumstances.

    3 years ago
  17. DeVonna

    Gratitude is a choice. The habit of gratitude brings about a change in the way we think and feel about the world around us and life in general. When we practice, daily, being grateful it naturally shapes and informs our opinions and thoughts.

    3 years ago
  18. Michele

    I think by reflecting that there are good people in this world and seeing things like random acts of kindness or when communities help each other out during crisis it’s easy to see the good in this world. I value websites like https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/. My town’s online news also has a ‘Good News’ section.

    3 years ago
    1. Mica

      Thanks, Michele, for the good news link! https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/

      3 years ago
      1. Michele

        you’re welcome. and for all the animal lovers out there, there is an animal section:)

        3 years ago
  19. C
    Clare

    Gratitude puts my life in to perspective to how fortunate I am and helps lift me out of the what if doomsday scenarios I can get running in my mind. When I can keep gratitude foremost in my mind I exude peace, joy and I feel it spread around to those around me.

    3 years ago
  20. EJP

    Gratitude enables me to live simple and easy…that’s where all the good in the world is.

    3 years ago
  21. devy

    Yes, Gratitude puts a positive perspective on things in our lives. We see the good we have and lowers the negativity which surrounds us. It develops a positive attitude that can be contagious . Others around us will feel it, and perhaps adapt their train of thought and attitudes.

    3 years ago
  22. Howie Geib

    Upon consideration there seems to be a slight distinction between what might be called spontaneous gratitude and cultivated gratitude. By this first distinction I refer to the sudden welling up triggered by some circumstance: The feeling when your feet touch the bottom on your way into shore after a tricky swim; Opening a gift and seeing something you immediately cherish; Hearing that a loved one has recovered from an illness. So the ‘how’ is a result of some outside influence.

    In the other, the cultivated, it is powerful in a different way. For it is utterly willful. Harnessing my internal disposition in such a way that I express a grateful light out into the world, an energy, a vibration. Like ripples or a wake, it moves out from me throughout my day, and reverberates. Maybe like the sonar of a whale or radar of a bat, perhaps it’s physical, the important thing is that the returning tones point out and show me a deeper sense of the world.

    As a tool, it is invaluable. And practiced (as we know from the voluminous evidence on this very site and body of work promoted by Br David) it can become habitual in the best sense of the word. And so, as beacons, we also attract the first, the spontaneous triggers that are sourced outside of us more readily.

    3 years ago
    1. Patricia

      Very helpful, Howie. Thank you…

      3 years ago
    2. Pilgrim

      Well said, Howie. Thank you.

      3 years ago
  23. G
    Gregoire

    To Kevin’s point. When I allow gratitude to dominate my thoughts and motivations of the day, and I still have a long way to go,, I want to share it with everyone. People in need of course,, but by all means the world in general. Gratitude maybe the only action that I’ve discovered in my life that is self enveloping but at the same time not controlled by the ego. It is centered in God’s love and appreciation that all we have is a gift from God.

    3 years ago
    1. Howie Geib

      Indeed, I think gratitude is an antidote for narcissism. It is a source of light if you will and the more one projects outward the more it helps those around one to see their way without necessarily imposing my thoughts or judgments on where they go. Kind of like the elves in Tolkien’s world…as they walk through the woods at night a playful light envelopes them., and the agents of darkness are rebuffed.

      3 years ago
  24. Kevin

    There’s no doubt that gratitude helps one to see the good in the world. But for me, today’s question prompts another question in my mind. Is it possible that effusive expressions of gratitude are closely aligned with the bounty and good fortune in one’s life? If so, it causes me pause. Shame on me if all my rose-colored glasses do is brighten my world, without benefiting my sisters and brothers in need. Gratitude, if left unemployed, can be a selfish emotion.

    3 years ago
    1. Linda

      Wow, this really made me think. “Gratitude, if left unemployed, can be a selfish emotion.” It is something to live by. Thank you.

      3 years ago
    2. Holly in Ohio

      That is brilliant, Kevin. I will be thinking on this, today.

      3 years ago
    3. Y
      Yram

      This is a good point. But I have had the experience of a homeless family that was “put up” in an apartment with bare essentials and they were so happy. Missionaries also encounter very happy people even when in the beholder’s eyes they have so little. I am reminded of ” because we have much, much is expected of us”.

      3 years ago
      1. Kevin

        Oh for sure! I recall assisting people in various ways over the years who had so very little, who had virtually nothing to the naked eye, but expressed deep and heartfelt joy for what they did have, seen and unseen. These people, whose faces I still recall, have taught me so much.

        3 years ago
    4. Pollyanna Gladwell

      Thanks, Kevin. Your comment stirred a memory from my childhood religious studies and when I looked it up, I was delighted to find that my memory served me well.

      It was the comment of a Pharisee whose prayer of gratefulness ran along the lines of “Thank you God that I’m not like other people who are all sinners – thieves etc.”

      It is gratitude, but as you say, in this case it is a selfish emotion. Not passing on the fruits of my gratefulness keeps it hidden, and hidden fruit rots and produces ethylene, which, while useful in a myriad of ways, is not the most pleasant smelling of gases!

      So, sharing my gratefulness to benefit others is essential. If I don’t, it might be a case of “Use it or lose it!”

      3 years ago
      1. Kevin

        Thank you, Pollyanna, for adding some grounding here. And, it certainly has been my experience that we must “use it,” or we will surely “lose it,” a kind of paying it forward if you will. I used to get so much from my clients (before retirement), and continue to receive so very much from those I have provided pastoral care for down through the years, that continues, today. It has always made me feel like I’m sitting on so much that needs to be given away as the Spirit may lead.

        3 years ago
      2. Michele

        It’s so good to see you post again Pollyanna! I have missed you. Welcome back:)

        3 years ago
        1. Pollyanna Gladwell

          Thanks again Michele for this and the message yesterday. Blessings.

          3 years ago
  25. Christine

    If I am grateful, I see beauty, where there is beauty, I see harmony, where there is harmony, I see love ❤️🌍🌎🌏

    3 years ago

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