Cultivating A Heart Of Gratitude

Are you grateful?

Do you ooze gratuity?

No? Well, that’s fine. For a long time, I have thought about those of us who are naturally grateful for every breath of air. I suck at being appreciative of those around me; I find my issues taking center stage and forget to take time to show people that they mean something to me. It shouldn’t be hard. Right?

So, so wrong. Let’s take a moment to understand the human condition and the complexities that individuals face each day. Think of a world where each person has a purple dot on their skin for every problem they are facing, a world where the trials that we face become visible to the naked eye. Yes, the world would be more colorful, maybe a little more honest, but imagine the discrimination that would follow. Imagine people making fun of each other, their number of problems increasing, and walking around with purple polka-dots on their skin.

It sounds like a dystopian novel if you ask me, and to be fair, these are similar things that prevent us from being grateful for the little things around us. You’re probably thinking something along the lines of “Joy, that’s pretty far-fetched.” And to some degree, you would be right, but follow this crazy train of thought a little longer with me.

Gratitude is not a gift most of us are born with; we have to cultivate it. Just like how we aren’t born with problems or polka-dotted skin, these things come along the way as we work our way through life. They take time to create and breathe life into as does a life of gratitude. A heart of gratitude begets a life of gratitude, simple.

It may sound too simple to be true: How can I be grateful when life sucks, what’s the use of being thankful to people who have hurt you, why must I live with gratitude? Those questions have one answer, cultivating gratitude helps you. Your life, your outlook, and your mentality will have a better chance of changing for the better.

Yes, gratitude does make life more comfortable to live. When you are no longer holding on to the disappointment or hatred in your heart, you have more time to deal with the problems that may arise. If the world was no longer hung up on the past or their differences to the point of division, wouldn’t we make it a better place for future generations?

You are important. You are loved, and you are going to be ok.

This holiday season, as the bells ring out into the night, let’s remember that gratitude can go a long way.

If you want to know more about my work, check out my latest poetry collection.

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