G is for Gratitude

The next installment in the Dictionary of Me is based on the Buddhist principles of Gratitude. There is a lovely little blog I read called A Buddhist Perspective and it succinctly describes what I refer to:

The practice of gratitude is very important in Buddhism. But so often, we forget about feeling grateful. When things go our way and we receive what we desire, we congratulate ourselves and all too easily slip into arrogance. We forget about all those who have helped us get where we are, allowing us to enjoy what we have. When we do not receive what we desire, we blame others! We forget that what we receive in life is due to our own causes and conditions, our own merits or lack of merits. But arrogance and blaming others are both afflictions and, thus, are obstacles to our progress on the path to awakening.

If instead, we are grateful for all the help we have received from others, in our happiness, we will in turn want to share what we have with others.

G is for Gratitude

At the beginning of this year I kicked off my 101 List challenge with a gratitude letter to my mother, my most recent Dictionary of Me installment was an ode to my friends in the spirit of gratitude, and another part of my 101 project was completing a list of 101 things that make me happy in order to constantly remind myself for that which I am thankful.

I have a saying posted up on my noticeboard that reminds me to Live With An Attitude Of Gratitude. I find that it helps me to stay grounded when things get tough and remind me that no matter how bad any situation might seem right then and there, there is always something to be grateful for, even if you can’t see it until much later.

I find that this philosophy helps me to always continue to grow and learn. Some of the best and most insightful things I have learned about myself and others have happened in times of adversity, and for that I am truly grateful.

I can’t proclaim to be 100% rational all of the time, in fact just last night I had a completely irrational episode. But trying to live with an attitude of gratitude does help me to get over my occasional irrational episodes faster than I think I otherwise would.

What do you do to stay positive when things get rough? What are you most grateful for in your life?

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2 Comments

  1. Justine

    I so agree with the fact that being grateful is very important and very benefitial for our lives. And definitely, it’s not posible to have a positive attitude or be grateful 100% of the time, but I think that the point is not that we are so 100% of the time, but rather that we aim for being grateful most of the time. That is a good start! 🙂

    I have experienced and tried different techniques to be positive when things are difficult, and different ones work at different situations. I do end up feeling that from every situation I have gained something, in the form of learning or experience. And ultimately, I am grateful for the roughest times, perhaps it’s these that I’m grateful for the most.

    I wrote a page on being grateful that I thought you may find relevant:

    http://www.the-benefits-of-positive-thinking.com/being-thankful.html

    Best wishes!

    Cristina

  2. Justine,

    Thank you for a great post! The greatest periods of growth I’ve experienced in my life have always happened in adversity. That doesn’t mean I invite it or look forward to it; only that I know that both rain and sun bring new growth.

    It is clear that we have so much to be thankful for and yet our human predisposition seems to lead us to see what we lack. The Buddhists, perhaps more than any other group, have grasped this fact and made it central in their teachings.

    I, for one, am grateful that there are voices like yours reminding us all to face difficulty with compassion and sunshine with gratitude.

    Peace…

    Ray


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