I have to admit that for most of my life I’ve been a cup half empty kind of person. If there was a negative aspect to any situation, I could find it, name it, and make sure everybody knew about it. That’s how I assumed the role of “victim” early on in my life, unable to reclaim my essence by finding the good in everything and relishing the moment.
For the past few years, I have been attending The Centre for Spiritual Living, member of a network of new thought ministries, not to be confused with New Age thinking, with followers all over the world. It is non-denominational, embracing all religions, cultures, sexual orientations and races. The sermons are great and the music is spectacular.
When we go to “The Centre”, I can embrace the coming week with optimism and hope. And it is gratitude that helps me grow my consciousness about the world and my place in it.
So, what is the antidote to an orientation towards negativity and victimhood? It is an abundance of gratitude for the here and now, for the past and the future, for all that I am and can be. As our spiritual leader says: “If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?” And, “let’s make gratitude our default, not our last resort”. (Yes. I have my notebook with me and jot down some ideas and quotes I want to remember.)
This past Sunday, the sermon was about how we are constantly comparing ourselves to other people by thinking that their lives are better than ours: why don’t we have what they have? When we think this way we’re always missing opportunities to see what we do have and be grateful and happy for ourselves. Only then can we be genuinely happy for other people.
I take this thinking with me into this new staying-at-home school year and acknowledge all that I have (usually not material things) and all that I am grateful for.
I hope that if you’ve returned to school, are getting ready to return to school, or are starting a new phase in your professional life that you look inward and rejoice in all that you are and all that you have. Maybe even write it down as a reminder during those moments when you’re feeling low or overwhelmed. We all bring different gifts to the world; let’s affirm these to ourselves and live them in our lives.
Here’s wishing everybody a year filled with gratitude.
Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers Tuesday Slice of Life Challenge.