Ripples #965: The Grateful Heart!
Nov 20, 2017
Even in the most peaceful surroundings, the angry heart finds quarrel. Even in the most quarrelsome surroundings, the grateful heart finds peace.
-Zoe Zantamata, shared by Gretchen in Florida
Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.
-John Milton, shared by Ria in Fox Crossing, WI
It’s Thanksgiving week here in our little corner of the world, a time when many of us will gather with loved ones for feasts and festivities. We here at Ripples HQ have developed a tradition over the last 19 years of using this particular issue to reflect on the value of gratitude.
It won’t come as a surprise to readers of these weekly splashes that gratitude has long been known to be a powerful natural tonic that helps us savor the GOOD STUFF in our lives. It is also true that cultivating gratitude for the HARD STUFF can help us appreciate the opportunities for learning and growing that are inherent in life’s inevitable challenges.
I’ve recently been exploring how gratitude can help us even when life is really, really, REALLY tough. The practice of identifying people, circumstances, events, and things that we’re glad to have in our lives does more than just distract us from challenges; it can serve to help us regain a larger perspective of the overall context in which a particular difficulty is happening. If we only spend time focusing on the difficulty, we might conclude that life is 100% yucky. If we take just a bit of time and energy to recall specific good things in our lives, the hard stuff can seem less overwhelming, less all-consuming. It is still there and it is still really hard, and yet it can be experienced as just one slice of a larger life instead of the whole pie.
If things are super tough right now, I invite you to experiment by jotting down even a few things that you’re grateful to have in your life and see if that helps at all. If life is already pretty swell, perhaps the activity might infuse an extra sense of joy into your holiday. Try it and see!
The Ripples Guy
P.S. If you want some extra splashes of gratitude, I’m especially proud of last year’s Ripples #913, and 2015’s Ripples #861. We also keep a Gratitude Archive with all 19 years worth of Gratitude Quotes.