Gratitude and Thankfulness: The Key To Happiness


 

 

I received free cognitive therapy because I was surrounded by a crew of little people who greeted each morning with wonder and awe.

 

 

The fleeting dream that eludes many of us is happiness. We are running around, miserable in our insular little worlds, only catching glimpses of the world around us through dung coloured glasses.The solution to our dilemma is easy. Stop. Take off our dung-coloured lenses. Look. Appreciate. A therapist would charge you hundreds of dollars to teach you how to do this, calling this method cognitive therapy. I will give you this key to happiness for free.
I heard of a fellow who hated his job.Unable to find another position, he finally decided to do something to change his apathy. After dragging himself home every night after work, rather staring at the T.V. all evening, he sat in front of his computer to write. His challenge? To find one thing that he was grateful for that day and write that discovery in a new blog. His posts connected with others and soon he had a huge following. At the request of a publisher, he is now writing a book.
I discovered the same secret after years of mothering my tiny children. They taught me to take my eyes off my exhaustion and to take delight in the plethora of tiny details all around me. Little kids are born with a sense of wonder and the ability to enjoy little things. My daughter’s retain an appreciation for detail; they all remember the little things.

A friend of mine once asked Rachel, when she was about six, what she liked most about Christmas. She replied immediately,
“The pineapple.”
My daughter’s answer astounded Martha. Similarly, one evening before dinner Emily, now a young adult, said,
“I always remember the fresh smell of clean sheets every week.”
Such a small thing, yet a child, with a heart full of gratitude, takes great pleasure from it.
A few months back, Katie was recounting how pleased she was with a plant in her garden. Realizing that she was enjoying such a small thing she laughed,
“Oh my god, I sound just like Mum.”

Another daughter and her husband of three months celebrated their marriage with a huge wedding reception for two hundred people. Mara had planned every detail from the match covers to the large buffet. Most of all, she poured her creative spirit into making all the decorations by hand with sisters and friends. The reception room, with black backdrops was stunning. From green wheat grass in planters, tissue paper flowers in greens and plum to spray painted Hydrangea blooms in purple, sliver, black and lime green, the room looked professionally decorated.
The things that raise my spirits are usually small and most people would not consider them significant. For example, one Christmas I was very tired and only one gift brought me genuine joy. It was hand crocheted dish clothes from my friend Cathy. ..dish clothes, beautifully made, colourful, something I used a hundred times a day.

Perhaps this is one of the blessings of a large family; free cognitive therapy from a crew of little people who greeted each morning with wonder and awe.

 

 

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