Sunday, November 25, 2012

an era of gratitude.

First of all you guys, today is the one-year anniversary of this blog. I don't know why I feel so accomplished, but I do. This has been a lot of hard work for me and hours and hours of research and blogging.

Including this post, I have written 140 posts in the last year. That's a post every 2.6 days (I think - ha)!!

Ooh. That feels good.

Okay. So because my first post was about gratitude, and because we celebrated Thanksgiving this last week, I think the following video is a good one for today...

"Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down."

Ah. I feel so incredibly blessed right now.

But I don't always.

You know, it's so true that we have it good where we live. (assuming you live in a way similar to me...)

I really feel like I should never take what I have for granted.

But let's face it, this isn't always an easy attitude to have. When things don't go your way, when work is stressful, money is tight, and friends create drama... well, self-pity can creep in.

And I know many people - and of many people - who say, "Why would you do this to me, God??"

"I don't deserve this!"

Well I'll tell you what. I've had hardships in my own life. Most likely nothing harder than you've experienced, and I didn't always believe that, but I do now.

And I've probably suffered through trials that I didn't deserve.

But you know what? I've been blessed in much larger ways with good things that I didn't deserve, either.

I don't deserve the Grace offered me.

I don't deserve the family I have.

Or the friends I have.

The world doesn't owe me anything. My God doesn't owe me anything, either.

So when I think of all the things given to me anyways - and the people who have sacrificed just about everything for me - Why am I not the most grateful person in the world?

Well I should be. Because a grateful person is a happy person.

I suppose some of you might be familiar with the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism...

basically, the first three truths are these:
1. there is suffering in the world.
2. suffering is caused by desire.
3. by curbing desires, you can end suffering.

(The fourth is rather irrelevant right now and takes more unnecessary explaining, so we will stick to the first three...) :)

I think that that is brilliant. Suffering is caused by desires. By expectations. And consequently, by disappointment.

So when you start truly being grateful for all that you have, when you stop expecting more and more success, when you stop feeling entitled to everything offered to anyone...

you will be so, so happy. I suppose that's actually the way to experience true happiness.

So here's to a year of constant attitude checks for me.

Because I want to be a happy person. I want to be done desiring worthless things.

And I want to help others. To serve the Lord and show Him where my priorities lie. I want to focus on the things that really matter.

I want the world to be a place full of grateful people.

And we've got a ways to go.

But I guess I will start with myself.

So here's to a new era.

An era of gratitude.

Will you join me?

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