What do you choose to be grateful for? Every morning, when I sit and write, the light shines through the leaves of the trees outside. It's so beautiful, and I'm grateful to the light and the leaves, and I thank my eyes for allowing me to see this beauty.
BUT-- what you appreciate and what you are thankful for is YOUR CHOICE.
You don’t have to be thankful for something that you don’t want
or you don’t like!
Pay attention to what you are choosing to be thankful for.
There are thousands of outside messages, every day, telling us what we “should” like and what we “should” own... and they tell us what we “should” be thankful for.
Some of these messages may be sincere.
Most of them are trying to get you to buy something.
Some of them are people trying to manipulate you, to benefit them.
There used to a person in my life who would try to give me "gifts."
A box full of tiny slivers of stained glass left over from her craft making:
"I thought you could put them in your garden around your flowers!"
(and the garbage man won't take them in the garbage can.)
Very, very used carpeting that she was ripping out:
"you can sew the cut edges and put it in your dining room!"
(since the landfill charges a hefty fee for dumping used carpet.)
A huge box of black bananas -and fruit flies- that she had let sit too long in her pantry:
"you could make a dozen loaves of banana bread and freeze it!"
(and you won't have the smelly things in your garbage can,and flies until trash day.)
When I declined politely, she told me I was ungrateful.
True! I was ungrateful.
I had no desire to take her castoffs.
I had no gratitude for her thought of me as a convenient trash can.
I had no thankfulness for her assumption that I was obligated to accept things that were garbage to her.
I was deliberately NOT grateful.
I thought, and chose, to reserve my gratitude for things I truly wanted.
But she had expected me to be swept along by the momentum of gifting and receiving, and social manners, and maybe even by a social class obligation that expects us to be accepting and grateful of the crumbs that fall from the table of the more affluent; since I lived in a much more modest home and manner than she did.
She had expected me to submit to her manipulations, that would benefit her.
You know, I wonder what she finally did with those black bananas???
Have you ever acquired something that you thought would make you happy, and then realized you don't really like it? Then later you felt disappointed, and felt disengaged with your purchase.
Maybe you wondered "why did I make that choice." Or, "why did I buy that?"
In many cases, it's because you didn't actually think about choosing that thing - if it fits your values, your goals, your manner of lifestyle -
-you just got swept into the momentum
of the many messages that told you when you own it, it will make you happy,
and that you will be thankful you have it.
When you are careful to stop and listen your own thoughts, guided by your chosen values,
THEN you will choose to acquire things that truly make you happy!
When your thoughts and values
are in line with the deliberate choices that you make,
you find your life becoming joyfully full of things
that you are truly thankful for!
And you find yourself living in gratitude
for the things you chose to leave OUT of your life, too.