Photo by Brigitte Tohm from Unsplash
If there’s one thing we all must learn from this pandemic, it’s gratitude. The fact that we are alive and healthy is already a big enough reason to be thankful. Others have suffered worse and endured more pain than we ever will but it shouldn’t discourage us from recognizing that there is still kindness to be enjoyed. Despite the depravity and tragedy in this world, God never fails to bless and save us from our troubles.
For some reason, feeling grateful is seen as a selfish act by society nowadays. Some people think choosing to be happy during the pandemic is self-serving. When you find the good in these trying times, they say you’re speaking from privilege which is considered a bad thing. I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. Unless you rub your wealth and comfort in other people’s faces, I don’t think there’s anything wrong to have a sense of gratitude. Let us not be afraid to appreciate what we have just because others have lost more.
What they have experienced and suffered through is out of our control, and it is unfair to punish ourselves for their suffering. It’s a different thing to preach gratitude from actually practicing it. It’s not enough to say you’re grateful if you don’t apply it in your relationships. Gratitude isn’t an easy virtue to embody and practice, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying. In the most stressful situations, it’s difficult to be in a state of thankfulness when things are going south. It’s hard to find a reason to celebrate the now if things aren’t panning out the way we want them to.
On the flip side, we also forget to be grateful when everything is happening exactly the way we want. When we get so fond of the abundant and constant source of happiness and self-fulfillment, we get farther away from living in contentment. We get so obsessed with reaching more and A lot of people fail to draw a line between too much and too little because we think of receiving what we want instead of what we truly deserve.
10 CLEAR SIGNS YOU’RE PRACTICING GRATITUDE:
YOU UNDERSTAND THE REALITY OF LIFE
Genuine gratitude opens your eyes to the raw reality of life. You don’t get easily swayed with fame or wealth because you know neither of the two gives true meaning to life. This means you don’t plan on acquiring material things that you can’t imagine losing. You don’t want to live a life where an earthly object holds a much greater value than your health. Moreover, when you’re grateful, you understand the tough truth of life and live with these principles.
You know that hardships are necessary and inevitable so you don’t fear them. You are emotionally mature because you know when to let it go and not take something seriously. You accept that if you don’t work for your dream, you’ll never achieve it. This means you don’t involve yourself in illusions that stray you away from living in reality.
YOU FIND IT EASIER TO FORGIVE
Gratitude helps you realize you make mistakes too. You’re practicing gratitude when you’re slow to anger. You don’t look at a situation as a win or lose but an opportunity to understand your and other people’s feelings.
When someone has wronged you, you focus less on the pain he caused you and more on what you can do to heal and forgive that person. You don’t wait until resentment closes your heart before you can attain peace. You find it easy to forgive because someone forgave you for your mistakes too.
YOU DON’T TURN A BLIND EYE TO THE STRUGGLING
It’s clear you practice gratitude when you are compassionate to other people. Acknowledging what you have right now increases your empathy towards those who have less. You can’t bear the thought of overlooking the pleas of the unfortunate because you have either seen or experienced first-hand what it feels like to have nothing.
You don’t want others to feel the struggle you’ve endured. You don’t see the act of generosity as a burden but rather something that benefits both you and the less fortunate. Your sympathy for other people’s feelings opens more doors for you to share your blessings and not count what’s taken from you. When you’re grateful, you work hard not only for your personal goals but also for the less fortunate. You understand you have the moral responsibility to offer resources and services to people who don’t have much.
YOU HAVE A STRONG SPIRITUAL LIFE
You practice gratitude in your life when you have a strong relationship with God. You try your best to love your neighbors as you love yourself because that’s our responsibility as God’s children and stewards. There’s gratitude in your heart when you have faith in God and prove it through your actions. You acknowledge God is the ultimate source of all things good, and so in everything you do, you worship Him.
Gratitude is clear when you translate it to your faith about the future. This means you don’t overwhelm yourself with worry that can cloud your judgment from making empathetic decisions. You’re not afraid nor ashamed of practicing your faith anywhere because you believe the truth. You thank God every single day from the moment you wake up in the morning until you sleep at night. Gratitude is contagious, so you actively preach the Good News of the Lord so people can evangelize others too.
YOU COMPLAIN LESS
When you’re grateful, you don’t find yourself in an agitated sense of mind where all you see is what’s wrong or missing. You know that complaining solves nothing; it only furthers the turmoil and worsens the problem. You believe complaining is what pessimistic people and those with a victim mentality do. Instead, you view life in a glass-full kind of perception and see everything in beauty.
You concentrate on taking accountability rather than shifting the blame to everybody but yourself. You don’t feel the need to complain as much because you know that everything else is less important. You deeply appreciate the value of life and hold it as something much greater than material possession or arbitrary success in life. When you face a predicament, you dwell more on what you can learn from the situation rather than how you can win the argument.
YOU HELP OTHER PEOPLE REALIZE IT
When you’re grateful, you’re persistent in helping others see the beauty of life the way you do. You help your friends with their problems by giving sound advice from a kind-hearted point of view. You don’t want other people to fall into the trap of lavish living and far-fetched from reality. This is why you continue to preach the idea of not taking anything for granted to everyone around you.
You share a lot of heartfelt stories about not having much yet still being generous. Furthermore, you continue to set a good example by being appreciative of what you have. Your thoughts, words, and actions manifest your gratitude and kindness. You want other people to realize how happy and peaceful life is when you’re grateful for every second of it.
YOU ARE DISCIPLINED TO CREATE A BETTER LIFE
Looking at life with gratitude allows you to lead it with intention. This means you strive to execute a carefully designed plan in your life. It’s easier for you to instill discipline in your life choices because you understand the possible consequences. When you’re grateful, you commit to better habits and daily routines.
You realize you only have one life so you do what it takes to live longer and purposefully. You strive to live a healthy and balanced life between work and leisure. You stay away from people who encourage you into bad behavior because you want to make your life mean something.
YOU DON’T TAKE SOMETHING FOR GRANTED
When you’re grateful, you don’t take for granted the vital resources like time and money because you know the feeling of not being given enough. You understand that money is difficult to earn so you keep it safe and spend it only when necessary. As much as possible, you don’t get into situations that waste your time. You don’t indulge in foolish distractions that could derail you from your goals.
You understand time is fleeting, and it should be used productively as you only have so little. You realize the importance of an opportunity so you make the most out of it. Even when you’re tired or preoccupied, you show up early and give it the best you’ve got. Every time you’re presented with a challenge, you don’t waste time being scared of it.
Instead, you face the dilemma head-on and overcome it with confidence. You don’t shy away from making mistakes because you believe that every failure is a blessing in disguise. You don’t take your loved ones for granted because you know they won’t always be there. Whenever an opportunity to bond presents itself, you make memories with them by putting them first than anything.
YOU DON’T THINK ONLY OF YOURSELF
Being grateful makes it simpler to understand someone else’s emotions. Gratitude allows you to have an open mind on communicating with people from different walks of life. It breeds essential human qualities like inclusivity and sensitivity toward culture, background, and way of living. You’re clearly grateful when you genuinely respect other people’s different levels of emotional capacity, tolerance, and attitude.
This means you don’t overstep someone’s boundaries to forward your opinions and interests. You’re practicing gratitude when your concern doesn’t stop with yourself alone but reaches out to other people. When you’re in a place where both of you need something at the same time, you allow someone who obviously needs it first (like a child who’s waiting in line to pee) even when you need it too. It is because you know that as an adult, your bladder can hold pee much longer than a child’s bladder.
Gratitude helps you look beyond your own discomfort and translate it to an act of generosity. Furthermore, when you get into an altercation with somebody, you don’t immediately resort to anger but sympathy. You choose to listen and understand the point of view of another person even if you’re the one being aggravated. You know that everybody is capable of anger and to certain degrees, people say or do things hurtful when too emotional.
It shows you’re grateful when you don’t take their lashing-out episodes too personally because you’ve been in that position too. You realize that a person being angry with you doesn’t directly mean you caused it, so you don’t take a grudge in the name of his/her moments of weakness.
YOU SEE THE GOOD IN EVERYTHING
Gratitude shines within you when you choose to see the good in everything. When you’re grateful, you’re aware of both the good and bad in life and expose yourself to each side. Despite the many reasons that go wrong, you dwell on the positive side in every situation because it’s better than someone else’s.
In other words, you could’ve had worse but you didn’t—and that’s a reason to be thankful. You see the good in the bad because you accept the fact that there’s only so much you can do before all that’s left is to be thankful for a less dreadful situation. You focus more on being accountable for what you can control under adverse circumstances.
Doing this is a gesture of gratitude that demonstrates a pleasing disposition in life—something ungrateful people can’t relate to. Moreover, you don’t waste time worrying about the what-ifs in life because the good reasons you see are enough for you to gain confidence for what’s to come. Having this attitude assures you that tomorrow will be better. And with all that’s going on today, this frame of mind is exactly what we need to earn comfort while moving forward.
Gratitude is the one quality that people find the hardest to embody because once they earn more, they lose it. When a person gains success or popularity, it gets harder to detach from the source where you get open validation. It’s challenging to not want more when you’ve experienced a better type of lifestyle or treatment.
On the contrary, it’s easier to be contented with what you have when you don’t have plenty since, at that moment, that’s the most you have. Having the sense of appreciation starts with counting the blessings you have and imagine what your life would’ve been without them. Also, you can learn the virtue of gratitude by exposing yourself to horrible and challenging situations.
When you realize how blessed you are to not be in the shoes of victims of abuse, crime, national disasters, you understand you haven’t opened your eyes to what belongs to you. Now more than ever, we must all be grateful for everything that happened and not happened.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”Melody Beattie