Monday, 26 May 2014

The gift of gratitude

This week has been crazy for us. I wont get into details but it has been a struggle. Financially. Emotionally. Physically. Everything-ly. There have been so many times where things like
"can't I just catch a break/ why is this happening to me/ But im doing the best I can!" ran through my mind. So this morning, instead of playing on my phone for the duration of the 1hour train ride into uni, I decided to stop. Put it down and just pay attention to everything that was around me (and subconsciously point out the things I was grateful for).... Im grateful i'm alive..... (Good work mere).... Im grateful for the trees... (yea they always cheer you up)... Im grateful that I can go to school... (your on a roll)..... Im grateful for the smiles of the little orange haired girl across from me every time she stuffs up her ABC's (yup thats a heart warmer) ....Im grateful for.... and bla bla bla that was about an hour of my morning :)

My pondering session this morning reminded me of a talk given by President Thomas.S Monson in 1993 titled 'Meeting life's challenges'. As I was reading, this quote by socrates warmed my soul, "If we were all to bring our misfortunes into a common store, so that each person should recieve an equal share in the distribution, the majority would be glad to take up their own and depart".

All of our challenges that we face are given to us personally for a reason. And that reason is ALWAYS to improve us. To help us grow. To help us help others grow. Wether we choose to accept that reason and just get on with it, or winge and complain about everything is completely up to us. Do we always know why life gets so dang hard that we just want to give up? No. Can we guarantee that if we just push on we will be better people at the end of it? Absolutely!

Im sure, just as socrates said,  that if we all were to pull our misfortunes together and pick out which ones we wanted, the majority of us would happily leave with the troubles that already have our names engraved on them.

There is always room to be grateful. Not only for WHAT we have, but more importantly, IN every situation that is encountered during our journey, wether it be good or bad (thank you elder Utchdorf for the reminder). In doing so, there is a guarantee that disappointment will be few, joy will be great, life will be beyond beautiful and our souls filled sweet love and compassion. To express gratitude is a gift. Not only to those who are on the receiving end but to ourselves. Why? because only then, we are truly free. We allow ourselves to think and live beyond the little box that the world has put us in. Tricky situations become a fun puzzle  and standing up after falling over gets easier. Thats right, gratitude doesn't take away your problems. You will still have problems. But it makes them so much easier to get through.

It is easy to be pleasant,
When life flows by like a song,
But the man worth while is the one who will smile,
When everything goes dead wrong.
For the test of the heart is trouble,
And it always comes with years,
And the smile that is worth the praises of the earth,
is the smile that shines through tears.

("worth while", The Best Loved Poems of the American People.)  xo m