So, the next phase of the positivity path I’m on is “Three Gratitudes.” Yes, I am aware that “Gratitudes” is not actually a word. However, it seems like a fine time to make it one since it sounds like “Beatitudes,” which comprise the Sermon on the Mount, one of the loveliest, most poetic and grace-filled passages in the Bible. And, “beatitude” means “supreme blessedness.”
More and more, social scientists like Barbara Fredrickson and Sonia Lyubormirski are publishing research that, to paraphrase wildly, seems to support the idea that gratitude is the prerequisite for blessedness. Let that sink in for just a minute – that may be a keeper: Gratitude is the prerequisite for blessedness.
The Mac dictionary app defines gratitude as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” There’s also the concept of “radical forgiveness,” advanced by Colin Tipping and (to my limited understanding) Buddhism, which says we are most fulfilled when we learn to be thankful for and appreciative of everything that we experience, even the tragic. I can tell you that I’ve tried acceptance-based forgiveness and I’ve got a couple of long standing and deep seated issues that ain’t budging, no matter how many times I tell myself, “It is what it is.” And time alone doesn’t seem to be healing all wounds. In fact (and in all honesty) I still find myself half hoping that time will wound all of the heels I’ve encountered. So, it seems clear that there must be a better way than simply surviving the time that passes after we’ve been wounded and, more and more, I believe it may be marked with a signpost that says “Gratitude.”
Increasingly, when I find myself being overwhelmed by sadness, resentment, hurt or anger – that’s my sign. That’s the time to stop and count my blessings, no matter how trite I may have found that saying to be when someone tried to offer it as advice during a difficult time. That’s why I think consciously making gratitude a habit is essential to creating a fulfilling life.
Today, I begin. I’m looking forward to this phase of listing daily three things for which I’m grateful. I don’t suppose I’ll share all of them beyond my daily journal but, who knows? To begin my Phase Four of the Happy LIFE, I’m going to start with these:
Today, I’m grateful for:
- Being a woman in a time and place that I am not property or legally subservient
- A husband who does double duty as best friend and confidant
- The freedom of expression (and a job that lets me indulge it daily)
And, as always, I’m grateful to you for taking the time to read and consider being Positively Happy.