ISRAEL: What Is The Key To A Grateful Life?
Sometimes I laugh at myself. Sometimes I scold myself. On occasion, I love myself. Mostly, I just don’t understand myself.
I have a good life. I’m healthy, I have a great husband, 5 amazing kids, a job helping people (which I do wish paid more money, but oh well), a house, a car, hobbies and so much more.
I also see first hand, especially at work, the suffering and the heartache people go through and the resilience and determination they show. Yet for some reason I can’t seem to find the right way to live a consistently grateful life, in my daily actions not just in my head.
I am grateful for my life. Logically, I know that and I really believe that. Yet I can’t seem to translate that into a life of consistent happiness and acceptance of what is.
There are some people who live a life of gratefulness, through good times and bad times. They are people whom I envy because they’re grounded, they have direction and their entire being, not just their logical head, feels their daily consistent gratefulness. I have spent hours and days trying to figure out how to become one of those people. Just when it seems like I might be moving in the right direction, life throws a curveball and hits me in the head.
Yet even then, every so often, that curveball shows me a glimpse of an answer. Like when I wonder if maybe love is the answer. Maybe the key to gratefulness is learning to love yourself, with all your flaws, real and imagined. Because how can you be grateful for anything else if you are not grateful for the wonder that is you, with all its imperfections.
I ponder and think about it, but I’m not sure and for me, loving myself is such a hard task. Because I’m critical and at first glance all that I see is what needs to change. All that is wonderful and good takes second place.
But maybe, just maybe, “gratefulness=love of self” is the equation for a happy fulfilling life.
What do you think? How do you learn to live gratefulness, in your heart and in your being, not just in your head? How do you learn to love yourself?
This is a poem I had written a while back that I happened across and made me think about this whole topic again.
It’s irrational the way the mind and heart are miles apart.
Is it the heart leading the mind or the mind tugging at the heart?
You know you’re a good person,
You know there are things you do well
Yet there’s that voice in your head
Repeatedly making you doubt every step.
You know you have so much to be grateful for
You know you should be living each day at peace
At peace with yourself, your surroundings
Your choices, your mistakes and your life.
But your heart tugs at your happiness
Because it doesn’t believe your mind, eyes and ears.
And your heart contracts and beats dissatisfaction
Pumping envy to every vein, artery and cell.
You know the truth
You know the logical smart choice
But the bridge between knowing and feeling
Can’t seem to be crossed.
So you do more and more
To try to narrow the divide between mind and heart
But doing brings a short lived peace
Till the chasm widens again.
You do to feel
But you miss the point
Doing without gratitude
Just makes you feel even emptier than before.
“Mind and Heart” ©2014 Susie @NewDayNewLesson