Three Inner Battles; Growth vs. Gratitude (part 2)

August 2011

This is a battle in which we route for both teams.  Recently a client reported feeling he has not mastered gratitude because he wants more than he has.  A desire to grow and expand is human instinct. Without this tendency to make life better, we would not have made advancements in medicine and technology, you may not have sought that promotion or education.  Without the desire for growth, life can become stagnant. We are stuck with the same problems (see battle 1).  Yet when this instinct is not balanced with gratitude we can loose enjoyment in life and feel perpetually unsatisfied.  It is important to balance the desire for more (friends, knowledge, money, car, home, material items, etc) with gratitude for what we already have. It is perhaps even more important to recognize that growth and gratitude can, in fact must, co-exist.

grate.ful adj. 1 a: appreciative of benefits received:     syn. thankful  

Taking time to be grateful is a simple way to increase satisfaction with our lives.  When life is going well, it is easy to identify all that is wonderful.  When curve balls are thrown our way it can be more difficult.  For the next week, I challenge you to identify 3 things for which you are grateful every morning, no matter how you are feeling.  Record these things via journal,  computer, memo on your phone, voice recorder, what ever works for you.  Try to find new things each day.  You might be grateful for the smell of coffee in the morning, or a loved one, for health, a pet, a piece of art.  Not only does this begin your day on a positive note, but when your having one of those “not so wonderful days”, you have this reminder of 21 things for which you are grateful. Continuing this practice is even better!

Gratitude is a great way to recognize that happiness and peace of mind are not destinations but exist in this moment, when you allow.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

-Melody Beattie