The Power of Gratitude

I’ve seen these videos haunting my social media websites in which a colorblind person is presented with a special new pair of glasses that will enable them–most for the first time in their lives–to see everything in the full spectrum of color. The videos are generally very touching. Tears of awe and amazement are shed, and the person gazes around at the newly colorful world with wonder.

What is the main emotion they experience at that point in their life? I like to think that they are filled with Gratitude for this newfound ability to see the world in a different way.

This post on Gratitude isn’t your typical “Be grateful for what you have because someone, somewhere has it worse.” No. In this post, I want to compare those color-enabling glasses to Gratitude.

Seeing the world, and especially the events and people in your life through the lens of Gratitude is powerful and can change your very perspective.

Here is an example.

I injured my back recently, and have been consistently re-injuring it through my stubbornness to ask for help. It’s been very painful and difficult to walk or sit, or sleep or do anything. I had an MRI done, and apparently I have several herniated discs. More so than the usual patient.

This news actually made me sigh in relief, because I was so grateful at the time, that it wasn’t worse. I had been worried that I was dealing bulging discs, and my doctor had dropped the “S” word (surgery), and I did NOT want to go down that route. So when I heard that the discs were merely herniated, I was grateful and relieved, even with all the pain I’ve been dealing with.

This may seem like a very small example, but to me it was a big deal and made a difference in my attitude.

Have you heard the expression, “Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude?” I’m not sure where I’ve heard it, probably a church thing, but it really is something we all should have in our proverbial bag of personal virtues.

Whenever I’m feeling frustrated about things in my life that may not be going my way, the most surefire way to change my outlook is to start making a list of things I’m grateful for. The list is ever fluctuating and growing because I have so many things to be grateful for–as we all do, I’m sure–even if it seems like your life is being flushed down the drain. There’s almost always something to be grateful for. And when we are grateful for things (and people), it makes us value them more. When we value what we have, we take better care of it, and then our desires to have MORE seem to fade. The grass is only greener on the side that gets the most fertilized, and Gratitude is the perfect pick.

It’s a good exercise to use on unruly children who are always asking for more STUFF. I tell them, “Go make a list of all the things you’re grateful for.” Usually they come back with a hearty list, and feel much better about their lives.

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