Perhaps, especially perspective.
When we focus on negatives or lack or weaknesses:
- what needs to get done
- ways we fall short
- roles we are unable to fill
- jobs we don’t get accomplished
- things we wish we had but don’t
Any of these and more, we get self-centered, we get tunnel vision trying to fix things, but often bring about this opposite effect.
Gratitude, steps in, and changes everything.
When we focus on positives or blessings or strengths:
- things we are doing well
- ways we are succeeding
- what we do have
- roles we are dominating
When we focus on these, we begin to get a better view of life. We begin to find ourselves living a life closer to the one we’ve been hoping for.
And, when we are truly & undeniably thankful for these, a true and unavoidable shift happens.
Gratitude changes everything, even our perspective.
An example from my own life struck me recently:
My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon, and the last night we checked into our hotel, only to find that our room had not been stocked with restroom amenities: shampoo, conditioner, soap, towels, etc. All missing from our room. The shower, too, seemed to not be working properly.
I could have focused on all of this – the fact that things weren’t perfect on our honeymoon – I could have chosen to look at all of this and let it ruin our last night.
Instead, I thanked God for the entire experience, and the fact that we had a clean, safe room to stay in for the night. I expressed gratitude for being taken care of, and for a staff that was responsive to our needs.
And, I was filled with joy & peace. I recognized the beauty in the moment, and enjoyed the last night of my honeymoon with my husband.
You see, allowing or choosing this gratitude, even in hard or inconvenient moments, shifts focus.
This way of thinking takes our minds from what is lacking to what is in abundance. From what is hoped for to what is right in front of us. From what is worrisome to what is actually happening. right. now.
The “count your blessings” thing is true. It really forces us to refocus. To recognize where we experience abundance and beauty right now, in this moment.
And, when we refocus, our perspective changes suddenly:
- we see the good, not the bad
- we see the positives, not the negatives
- we see love, joy, peace, kindness, not worries, stress, or failures
With a perspective change, we find more creative ways to solve problems, and sometimes even a revelation that there is no real problem.
So, gratitude really changes everything.