‘Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow’. Melody Beattie.
‘Stop buying the books.’
I smiled. The medium may well have had a point. Over the last 10 years I had read countless books on a range of topics under the broad spectrum of self-help and spirituality. It delighted me when I received a kindle as a gift, books at the click of a button. I seemed to have an incredible hunger for knowledge and devoured books as though my life depended on it. Looking back I can see I was drawn to authors and books that would provide the perfect steppingstones to saving my life and transforming my way of seeing things. After years of lacking self-acceptance and self-confidence, I had eventually found the answer I had been seeking……gratitude.
My life has been the perfect sequence of lessons with individuals and events creating the steppingstones that would ultimately lead me to a cherished gift, that of gratitude, and to experience how this attitude can transform our viewpoint and perspective, even in difficult times. It would be unrealistic to think that life does not include loss, grief and disappointment. We think it is natural to feel grateful when events are working well, and it is at these times we may take our good fortune for granted however it is gratitude that helps us cope with the tough times. It has the power to heal, foster acceptance and offer hope. We can reframe memories and situations by applying gratitude and thankfulness.
Gratitude implies humility and makes us realise we could not be who or where we are without contributions from others. We like to think that we are our own creators and that our life is ours to do with as we please and may take things for granted. We assume we are responsible for all the good that comes our way. Grateful people understand that much goodness happens independently of their actions, despite themselves. Genuine gratitude involves a humble dependence on other people or even higher powers, that have given us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our life. We can show our appreciation for others by recognizing a network of relationships, past and present, that have helped us get where we are right now, even the difficult ones. The gratitude aspect of appreciation refers to recognizing and accepting benefits we receive and feeling thankful for them.
This book, through a series of gratitude letters, examines what gratitude is and suggests ways we can fit it into our everyday way of life and master how to harness its power to bring about amazing transformations in our life. I hope my stories and letters may inspire you to examine your own journey. Who has encouraged and inspired you even in ways you may not have recognised at the time? Gratitude encompasses grace, compassion, love, hope, forgiveness and acceptance. Once you begin to write your own letters these emotions will come to the fore and can contribute to deep joy and healing.