Living your day to day life, it can sometimes be difficult to remember to be grateful for the blessings you have. Recently I read in a magazine article that the reason why humans are never satisfied with what they have and are always wanting more is because of our ancestors survival instinct. To be complacent was to be weak and to be weak was to die. So to remain at the top of the evolutionary chain we developped an insatiable need to always have more and better. Hmmm… I must be the strongest and the fittest of the whole bunch 🙂
This question of being grateful for the blessings in my life crystallized for me one day when I was browsing through a second hand bookstore downtown. I had gone there to see if I could find one of my favourite books which had somehow gone missing from my library. I figured it was a longshot because if you’ve ever been to a second hand bookstore you know how hard it is to actually find something you are looking for (usually you come away with something you didn’t know you wanted ). Anyways I actually ended up finding the very book I was looking and for about 5 seconds I was “woohoo!” happy…then I thought, “let me see if I can find better bound copy”, and “I actually don’t want a 3-book volume, let me see if I can find the book on its’ own”. It was at that moment, that I realized how unable I still was to be satisfied with the blessings in my life. Forget about those moments where I actively seek out patience, satisfaction and gratitude. I am referring to the daily, insignificant happenings that we don’t think about and don’t remember half the time. That day has stayed with me and has helped me to see that it is perhaps those small, unimportant moments that are the ones that train you for the big life changing ones. If I learn to control myself in the small situations then perhaps it will come naturally to me when it’s really important.
I once wrote that I was happy, but I remember not being able to put my finger on exactly why. What had changed for me over the years that I was not so much no longer unhappy, but that I actually began to recognize myself as being happy? I finally came to the conclusion that it was because I had learned to live in the moment. It sounds so cliched and it was definitely not something I set out to do…but there it is. My focus is on the here and now, not the future or the past. I think maybe the same thing applies to being grateful for the blessings you have in your life. Being able to be truly grateful for the blessings in your life now, praising God for those blessings whether big or small keeps you in the present as well. It is also not dependant on whether you are happy or not. I need to remember God’s blessings and be satisfied with them, when I am happy and content but also when I am at my saddest. It sounds easy to do, and people may read this and wonder why it took me so long to reach this point but I thought I had reached it long ago. It was only recently that I realized how much further I had to go, how little I knew and understood about myself. So my goal is to get to a point where whether I am happy or sad I maintain my gratefulness for the blessings I do have…and I remember to thank God and to praise God – in the small things like finding a worn out copy of a favourite book, or in the big things like being surrounded by family and friends every step of my way.