Before I made a conscious decision to more spiritually balance my life, gratitude was something that was reserved for times when I was on the receiving end of wonderfully fulfilled expectations or when I experienced great “luck”, while ingratitude was freely given for anything less than ideal or spectacular. Examples are listed in the following table:
|Deserving of Gratitude||Deserving of Ingratitude|
|Winning the lottery||Winning €4 on the lottery|
|Being rewarded with praise after a job well done||Being treated like a normal person after a job well done|
|Being thrown a surprise party||Being thrown a surprise party|
|Getting the Christmas present you really, really want||Getting another one of those odd reindeer jumpers that your aunt Matilda knits|
|Being front row at a Springsteen concert||Being front row at a Barry Manilow concert|
|Watching the team you love win the championship||Watching the team you love to hate win the championship|
|Having enough money to go mad at the mall||Having enough money to get through the week|
In short, I was a spoiled brat. Now I am a recovering spoiled brat, which is to say I am travelling down a path that leaves behind the dark, overgrown, twisted vines of sour grapes for the sun blessed green fields of gratitude. (Did I write that?)
As part of my recovery from being a spoiled brat, I’ve significantly revised my gratitude standards. For example, pretty much everything in the left hand column is now in the right hand column except maybe that jumper, but dear old Matilda did make an effort, God bless her. Winning €4 on the lottery is better than a kick in the pants, being at a Barry Manilow concert means someone thought enough about me to buy me a ticket (because I sure didn’t buy it), and having enough money to get through the week can be a truly great thing, especially when you’re teetering towards the alternative.
More and more, I find myself explicitly grateful for everyday things that I used to take for granted. It felt a bit forced at first, like something I knew I should do but felt awkward doing. Now it feels quite natural to be grateful for all sorts of little things, like finding the type of coffee cup I like in the office kitchen, then being able to make a fresh cup of coffee from those packets that George Clooney sells on TV. (I’ll leave others to be grateful for George Clooney – you know who you are.). I’m grateful to get a parking space nearby work, and when my commute flows freely through traffic. All quite mundane things I suppose, but it’s perfectly valid to be grateful for them.
Some of these everyday things I am grateful for are quite big really. I’m extremely grateful that my entire, sprawling family are healthy and reasonably happy, and that my partner and I can provide for them, and of course I’m grateful for the partner with whom I share love and laughter.
There are so many things to be grateful for in any given day, all the little things one often doesn’t think about –hot water for a shower, food on the table, someone to bring your post, flick a switch and the lights go on, mod cons, interpersonal interactions, all the little things that go right, or at least don’t go wrong. It’s easy to take it all for granted. Gratitude helps you notice how blessed you truly are.
Just for today I will be grateful
See a list of Reiki precepts