"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." --John Milton
Perception is a key component of gratitude. I look at perception in two ways...first, I am more grateful if I pay more attention to the things I see and the things I have, and second, I am more grateful if I am more aware of my own situation.
When I take the time to notice a flower in bloom or a bird singing, I have a more grateful heart. So for this month, as I work on being more grateful, I am committed to noticing beauty around me.
Although I am uncomfortable comparing myself to others as a way of navigating life, I do find that being aware of worse situations can make me appreciate my own. For example, when I talked to people during chemotherapy treatments, I often went away being grateful for the realization that if I had to have cancer, at least I had a kind for which there were pretty effective treatments. When my son was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome, I learned to be grateful that he did not have a life-threatening disease. I don't think it is necessary to compare myself to others to see these things, but becoming more aware of what other people are dealing with makes me more comfortable with, and more appreciative of my own situation.
So, for this week, I am going to be more aware of what I do have, and not focus on what I don't have. Appreciating my blessings in life greatly increases my feelings of gratitude!
For more on gratitude see Living in Thanksgiving - How Grateful Are You?
and Living in Thanksgiving - Gratitude Journals, Yes or No?