THE “WHAT, WHY & HOW” OF THANKFULNESS

From The Family Virtues Guide

WHAT IS THANKFULNESS?

Thankfulness is being grateful for what you have. It is an attitude of gratitude for learning, loving and being. Thankfulness is being glad for the special things which come along. It is also being grateful for the little things which happen around you and within you every day.

To be thankful is to have a sense of wonder about the beauty of this world and to welcome all of life as a gift. Thankfulness is a path to contentment.

Thankfulness is a way to get perspective when things don’t look good and you start to lose hope. It is a way to grow when painful things happen, by looking at the gifts which are always there, even when they seem hidden.

WHY PRACTICE THANKFULNESS?

Without thankfulness people would stay focused on negativity. They would do nothing but whine and complain. They would miss the beauty of life and the power of learning, especially during difficult times.

No matter how difficult or dark things become, there is always light. There is something to learn in every painful situation. In fact, sometimes when look back at a really hard test in your life and realize what you learned, that is when you feel the most grateful of all.

When you open your heart and give thanks for all the goodness in the world, you create more room for the flow of good things to come. Thankfulness leads to optimism. And when you expect the best, you often find it.

HOW DO YOU PRACTICE THANKFULNESS?

You practice thankfulness by noticing the beauty around you and within you. Then let yourself feel the gratitude in your heart.

Count your blessings often, especially when you are having a hard time. Find the lessons in all things, for they are the true gifts of this life. Avoid envy because it can destroy your trust. The moment you envy someone else, you are rejecting the gifts that are yours.

If you want to practice thankfulness, learn to receive. Everyone needs to have the opportunity to give, including the people who care for you. Be optimistic by being receptive to life rather than allowing fear or worry to control you.

To practice thankfulness, appreciate little things—a flower by the road, the stars at night, a challenge met, a laugh with a friend, a sorrow shared. To be truly thankful, don’t wait for a dream to be fulfilled. Celebrate the moment.

What would Thankfulness look like if…

  • You feel sad and defeated because of your problems?
  • You wish you were more like a popular person you know?
  • You go for a walk in a place of beauty?
  • Your mother does something kind for you?
  • You worry that you don’t have the right clothes?
  • You are thinking about your day?

Congratulations! You are practicing Thankfulness when you…

  • Have an attitude of gratitude
  • Are receptive to gifts
  • Appreciate your own abilities instead of envying others
  • See the difficulties of life as opportunities to learn
  • Appreciate the beauty of this world
  • Count your blessings every day

Affirmation:

I am thankful for the many gifts within me and around me today. I appreciate my life. I look for the lessons. I expect the best.

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