In the United States, we are constantly bombarded with the idea of gratitude during the month of November. We celebrate that interesting day of Thanksgiving where we all say what it is that we are thankful for. Even in my family we erect a paper “thankful tree” and each night after dinner add a leaf of something we are thankful for.
But…what should we be thankful for? I’ve heard study after study (because, we love are science as validation during this modern era) state that having a gratitude journal and saying what you are grateful for is a practice that actually helps you mentally. But…what about the actual items on that list…what are you thankful for???
Personally, I believe that we should be thankful/grateful for everything. Those things we label “bad” as well as the more common items on the list we label “good”. We should also be thankful for the mundane boring parts of life as well as the exciting parts.
I think, a lot of times, when we consider what we are thankful for and where we should put our gratitude and focus, we limit ourselves to those items that seem “good” and “of value”. My spiritual perspective, however, is that we should shift our focus and work on finding gratitude for those things we label “bad” or “mundane” or “boring”.
Everything is part of a continuum, a shift in perspective can easily change how you view anything in life – and thus, we should be grateful for everything.
So, what are you thankful or grateful for? I am grateful for mud and the pain that comes from a paper cut and the sound of leaves being run over by car tires and the gentle snore of a sleeping dog. I am thankful for everything.