Feeling Great . . . ful
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.”
Gratitude falls right in line with focusing on the good. I see why Cicero referred to it as the parent of all other virtues. It helps me to start with the basics of food, clothing and shelter. I think it can be easy to take our most basic needs for granted if we are fortunate enough to have them covered, even if it is as simple as cooking ramen in a studio apartment while wearing thrift store clothes.
I used to be ungrateful. I also used to be outright defiant when things did not go my way. I mostly took all the good stuff in my life for granted because I would choose to focus on everything that I did not yet have in my life or felt I could never achieve. This was an issue in the big areas of my life: my career, my living situation and my love life. Instead of being proud of how far in life I had already come, I did not feel satisfied, so I chose to beat myself up about it. Gratitude was nowhere to be found back in my 20’s.
Now I’m 43. I learned to express gratitude and give thanks for all the people and circumstances in my life, the good and not-so-good. My living situation is not ideal, but I am so grateful for it. My career is not exactly firing on all cylinders, but I feel and see the pieces falling into place. I am grateful for my patience while it all unfolds. My love life looks very promising and I am so grateful for the timing and serendipity of it all.
The old me would have been unhappy and impatient about the process, focusing on how I am not yet where I want to be. The new me gets it. And the funny thing is, I’ve never been happier in my life! I am so excited about all the big areas of my life even though they are not currently ideal. I am also grateful for the timing of it all. Maybe because I’m 43 I should feel like I’m running out of time, but I don’t. I like to compare life to a round of golf. I’m just starting the back nine. I’m more excited for the back nine because of all the learning and growing I did on the front nine. For this perspective, I am so grateful! 🙏
Happier Human: 31 Benefits of Gratitude: The Ultimate Science-Backed Guide
Positive Psychology: The Neuroscience of Gratitude and How It Affects Anxiety & Grief