November is all about Gratitude.
This week, learn 2 simple, yet profound lessons on finding gratitude.
Lesson #1: Happiness Comes From Within
The concept of happiness is an elusive one. Often, we find ourselves constantly searching for it outside of ourselves, as if it’s some paradise we must reach. But rather than finding happiness externally, what if we chose to find happiness inside ourselves?
Happiness, joy, and wellbeing can be found within. In fact, they should be dependent on what we carry in our everyday moments. Those most marvelous feelings come from places of abundance, when we feel most satisfied and whole. Satisfaction and wholeness can certainly come in the middle of paradise, but what about in the midst of health struggles and instability? How can you feel satisfied or whole in moments like those?
This is the time—the most important time—to find that happiness within, even in the darkest moments. Finding that happiness and wellbeing rely on how present, accepting, and content you are with all that is. Instead of looking for the next, external thing that could bring you happiness, what—in this exact moment—brings you joy?
Is it the rays of sun hitting the orange leaves, the sound of gray raindrops splattering against the window pane, the blanket and cozy socks that are keeping you warm each night, the two legs that you still have to keep you going each day, or the car that still miraculously drives after 30 years?
It takes work—it’s much easier (and as humans, we tend to always opt for the easier choice) to focus on what we’re lacking or how unhappy we are. But when you do the work and choose to find just one thing in the moment to be grateful for, you ignite a spark far more grand.
It’s in these moments of choosing gratitude that we find our happiness, joy, and delight.
Lesson #2: Surrender to Find Gratitude
The idea of surrendering often denotes negative connotations of giving up or not being enough when, in actuality, surrendering is profound acceptance. Life is hard; it is a series of ups, downs, struggles, and joys. It’s in those moments of hardship and struggle that surrendering can provide relief.
When things don’t go as planned—whether it’s blood results, a weight loss journey, losing a loved one, losing a job, or any number of difficult circumstances—a gap grows between our reality and our expectation. It’s in that gap that hurt, frustration, anger, sadness, and defeat fester. It’s also in this space where it’s vital to accept yourself and your life exactly as it is—to be fully invested and aware of the moment you’re in and what you’re experiencing. It’s as if you’re welcoming the hardship.
By doing so, you begin at a point of acceptance rather than a point of punishment. Once you surrender, you accept; once you accept, you begin to close that gap that holds the difficulty, the punishment, and the heartache, and move forward.
To take that first step of acceptance means going back to step #1 and reaching within to find gratitude. That gratitude can, then, lead you to your joy. Joy is yours—it already lives inside you. You can find it by surrendering to the moment, accepting what is, and finding all the little joys of life you already have.