I’ve been saving my thoughts about gratitude for November specifically, because it’s Thanksgiving. And the timing is impeccable. Because gratitude isn’t only something you think of when times are great, it’s something you must desperately cling to when you’re in the midst of the muck & mire of pain & loss.
- Gratitude helps to re-frame anxiety & it’s a good antidote to depression.
- Gratitude gives you hope when you have fear.
- Gratitude gives you consolation/solace experiencing loss.
- It combats victim-mentality & teaches you responsibility.
- Gratitude keeps you from taking what you have for granted so you don’t lose it.
- It cultivates a glass-half-full mindset & richness in spirit.
- It creates the victor: builds resilience, growth-mentality & self-mastery.
- It makes you see opportunities you would have otherwise missed.
- It inspires us to grow more and give better.
- Gratitude honors people & relationships & is lived out in action.
- I think God wants us to feel these blessings of gratitude & feel JOY from it.
- Gratitude is a choice first. Feelings follow.
As you can see, gratitude mindset isn’t just for smelling roses. It’s the digging-yourself-out-of-the-grave kind. Gratitude mindset is a glass half-full mindset, but that doesn’t mean you only see the good things & live in denial. It IS about seeing the bad, BUT like a stubborn optimist, it’s choosing to FOCUS on the good. That focus can be the difference between experiencing a life of regret and a life of joy, satisfaction & legacy.
What you focus on, give attention to, is what grows.
“What you see is what you get.”
We’ve all heard the saying “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” This is because if you’ve taken people and life for granted, you’re blinded from seeing the blessings right under your nose until you’ve lost them and it’s too late. When you see the world glass-half-empty, you become the victim as you miss out on opportunities and dwell in insecurities instead of accepting and moving on from them. I believe we all have choice, but I think that the victim of a glass-half-empty mindset lives a fatalistic life, self-fulfilled by own beliefs. If you think the grass is greener on the other side, it’s because you’re not choosing to see and cultivate what you have on your own side. The greatest saboteur in your life is you.
When you choose to focus on what you do have & what’s good, you take responsibility, you gain power & become the victor—no matter the circumstance! It is said, “man can take away everything from you, but the ONE thing that cannot be taken is your attitude.”
When I was in elementary school my mom sternly and frustratingly said in my bratty face, “happiness is a choice, Megan.” I always tried to understand that.
There is pain in my life–brokenness, self-doubt, imperfection, struggle, grief & the temptation to be cynical…but I try to remind myself to think positive and still be the best I can be & believe the best in others. That’s the only way to get through and push past the negativity and fear that holds you back. Sometimes the only positive thing to say is “this too will pass.”
Choosing gratitude takes guts & resilience, and builds character. I believe that victor’s mindset requires stubborn optimism. Because when everything and everyone you love is failing around you, you can still choose to see the good and be victorious over it, despite the chaos of life.
Thanksgiving Spinach Dip
thank you, Lori for sharing!
(Add ingredients as your desired amount.)
Mushrooms & Onion sautéed
Cream Cheese & Milk
Corn starch to thicken so it’s GF
Chicken seasoning, garlic powder
Liquid Aminos (soy sauce) to taste
But don’t be deceived! Active gratitude is needed just as much in good times as it is a life-line of hope through bad times! When everything is going well for us, it’s easy to take things for granted. Even though Eve lived in the garden of Eden, she believed she didn’t have enough and she lost what she had. Cherish what you don’t want to lose.
But a glass-half-full mindset will take you beyond mere status quo, it will open you up to new & more possibilities, growth, power, satisfaction & purpose than you thought you could have. Nelson Mandela said, “I never lose, I either win or learn.”
“Expect Nothing, Accept Everything.”
“Be content, but not complacent.”
“Be grateful, yet strive for greater.”
– Magic Megan
Here are PRACTICAL Ways to generate gratitude:
№ 1 ~ Close the Gap!
I figured out that the amount of stress or disappointment you feel can be measured by the distance between your expectations of how things ought to be, and how reality really is. The mental exercise that worked for me during a stressful time at work was to psychologically close that gap, and it worked like a charm. I lowered my expectations and accepted reality AS IS. When I went to work the next day, I felt like a BRAND-NEW PERSON! I accepted that, for the time being, I would let myself down & not meet my expectations, and that other people wouldn’t meet my high/ideal expectations either.
I forgave, & gave grace for myself, others, and reality. It freed myself to be thankful for what I had in the moment instead of resentful for what I didn’t have. Accepting to be content with what was didn’t make me complacent, it cleared my mind so I had MORE energy and determination!
№ 2 ~ Active Gratitude.
Foster a glass-half-full mindset. Throughout the day think of things you’re grateful for and tell the person next to you. Tell others what you appreciate about them. Journal. Feel appreciation for the sun rises & running water. Sometimes things we don’t like turn out to be blessings.
Phillip Richard Boucher
WENT TO BE w/ the LORD 11-6-2019
My Grandpa Phil created a life & legacy of love & faith for everyone who knew him. He is a legend to his huge family and community. I think he passed away with Honor. My grandpa Phil was full of love for Jesus & others, and as he grew older, he became even more tender hearted. He was also very wise and someone you could really talk to. I’m thankful for the life my grandpa gave my family. His final message to us all was: “God loves you and so do I.” He was rich in spirit and all he wanted was to share that with us.
Did you know he was actually born a dog? He woke up one morning in the dog house and found he was a little boy. He would point to his one remaining dog tooth to prove it.
№ 3 ~ When Life is good, Give.
When you are in taking mode, you’re focused on what you don’t have, so you don’t even see what you do have. That causes a blindness and makes you become poor in spirit. My theory is, when we give it causes the heart to see & appreciate what we already have—gaining back spiritual riches: Joy, Purpose, & Gratitude. I knew a millionaire who is always so unhappy & angry. Some people are poor in spirit; they never have enough. That’s why it’s “mindset over matter” that counts. Now it makes sense why Jesus said, “It’s better to give than to receive.”
№ 4 ~ Never Give Up Hope. Keep Fighting.
The stubborn optimist learns from mistakes & can be motivated by pain itself— they believe in a better world, so it becomes their purpose to overcome it & strive for better. Feel pain, but let it motivate you to choose goodness & cling to it. In spite of death, let us celebrate life. Let us truly live to the fullest & count our blessings. We only live once.
Anaïs Nin said, “we don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” So, who do you want to be when you die? How could you foster your mindset now?
If I die tomorrow, I want to be happy and thankful for the opportunity of life. If I live ‘till I’m 87 years old I’ll be even more grateful to have been given more. (That is, if I don’t take what I’ve been given for granted.)
I want to celebrate EVERY birthday and be a whipper snapper, kid-at-heart, kick a** cool old lady with fashion & spunk!
I’m so thankful my grandpa was blessed to have both quality & quantity in life. He had an amazing full life with family & friends all around him. Let his life show us a legacy of what living a life with gratitude looks like.
I love you, Grandpa. Thank you for what you’ve given us.
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