All too often we don’t know or remember to be grateful for something, some state of our being or some condition of our lives until it’s gone! Only then do we lament its passing, as we took that state or condition for granted just a bit. Perhaps we got so used to it, that we just assumed it would be that way easily or assuredly forever. It surely happens when people leave our lives; their loss leaves us with a gaping hole where they once filled our hearts, our minds and our presence. But it is also that way with circumstances, situations and conditions. We might find that one day we no longer are in the same job, or have the same house, or perhaps that our health suddenly takes a turn; and although these changes are not as hard upon us as the loss of a dear soul whom we love, we still are reminded by our lamenting what has changed. We should have probably felt more grateful for what we had when we had it! That is life.
Trying to live it without regret means we must try harder to live it now with gratitude! An attitude of gratitude compels us to not only experience all that we can with expectancy, but to appreciate for some reason all that comes our way! Take, for instance, the woman who laments in some manner the body she has when she is younger, as so many young women are prone to do! She may not fully learn to love, accept and appreciate the body she has now, wanting some other physical characteristic which she doesn’t have. She may torment herself, wishing things could be different. She may wish to be thinner, taller, prettier, etc.; but in later years perhaps she will come to realize that those conditions were not so bad after all when she experiences changes in her body as a result of aging, illness or some accident. We all do that to some extent; but we are cheating ourselves out of today’s joy by not loving and appreciating things as they are!
Gratitude is our appreciation for all of our life; our consideration that we are blessed just as we are, the way things are! Gratitude enfolds us and envelopes us in acceptance and surrender, to that which is and also to that which isn’t. It develops by way of purposeful habit into a state of contentment and peace; no matter the circumstances, situations, or conditions. Living in that manner surely enhances each day now; but it also lessens the chances for regretting what is past, as well as easing fears over what is yet to be. Our wholeness in being depends upon focusing upon the present with gratitude regardless the experience, conditions, circumstances and situations. It is only in gratitude that we can realize how much we already have within us and around us!