What Do I Have to Be Grateful For?

November is a special month for me. It is the time of the year that I count my blessings. November causes me to reflect upon my good fortune and the miracles I have received throughout the year. It is also the time of year that I remember that I had a little something to do with my destiny.

Every morning for several years I have done a gratitude ritual. Before I get out of bed, I do an inventory of all the “things” in my life that I love, enjoy, count on, appreciate and revere. The list can get quite long if I am willing to engage in the ritual.

Remembering that I am healthy enough to get out of bed is usually first on my list. Health is for me, something to hold in the highest regard. Physical health is the beginning for me. It is the place from which all else is born.

Mental health is probably even more important than physical health. As loyal readers of this column know, I have suffered depression, and that is a time when getting out of bed at all is pure bliss.

I also bless the people in my life, friends and family, and even the strangers I may meet that day. I tend to draw amazing people into my life. Their loyalty and kindness is beyond compare and my gratitude at receiving their unconditional love is far more than I can ever express, but I do try, every morning.

Next I say a prayer of thanks for my apartment. Without my landlord’s generosity, my dogs and my husband and I would be without a roof over our head. I am so grateful that we found a manager who was willing to take our pit bull and dobe. We would have had to give them up, which I could not have done, if we had not found this wonderful building.

Some days I give thanks for all the money coming my way. Other days, I give thanks for the clothes on my back and in my closet. I give thanks for the work my husband I receive and I give thanks for joy the work brings.

Some mornings, I am too tired and disheartened to even think a good thought, let alone a grateful one, but because this ritual is a habit, I begin counting my blessings regardless of my feelings. The amazing part of this rite, however, is that no matter how dejected I feel at the beginning, I always feel much lighter, happier and blessed than I did when I began.

On the days when I wake up with a spring in my step, I find that it may be even more vital that I do the ritual so that gratitude can ground and stabilize the euphoria, causing me to feel more balanced. This practice is a great way to take feelings of elation and turn them into productivity.

Gratitude is the balm that heals all wounds. It is the greatest power next to love and can guide you get back to love when you are angry or disappointed. It is the quickest path to joy, like a traffic-free thoroughfare, leading straight to happiness.

I literally practice gratitude. I attempt to send blessings and gratitude for everyone and everything I see throughout the day, particularly the people and things that upset me.

Sometimes the person or event that most disturbs you conceals an opportunity to evolve. When you are pissed, you may not see the silver lining. Even if you are feeling negative towards someone, you can send a blessing, forgiveness and gratitude.

Words of love and gratitude have a very strong energy, so even if you do not feel loving towards the twit that just cut you off, you can still send a blessing. The act of changing your perspective from one of frustration and anger to one of love and forgiveness, regardless of your feelings, your intent to forgive and send love, will draw you from a place of darkness.

Miracles are everywhere and gratitude helps you to acknowledge the miracles that life offers you daily. We may find it difficult to find the blessing in an eviction notice or a termination of employment. However, we will find that perfect apartment that accepts Pitbulls and Doberman Pinchers if we find the blessing of losing our houses.

Actively practice gratitude. Actively cultivate a life that brings you to a place of gratitude. Participate in your joy by being grateful for all that comes. Offering a perspective of gratitude will help you to find the blessing much more quickly. You will feel empowered and you will realize that you can consciously draw the things into your life that you truly want.

If you would like to contact Maria, her email is [email protected]

By Maria Etta Anabel