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Why gratitude saves my life

August 3, 2014

Nobody said life would be a cake walk, but fortunately I keep learning my reactions to it will make it easier and easier all the time.

It is not a new revelation to announce here that I am an over-thinker.  I have a tendency of taking the fears that pop into my head and providing them a warm comfortable home.  I can often turn a decision into a drawn out affair of tedious proportions.  It isn’t fun and it is never necessary, but it has been and probably will always be a default in the way I think.  It is a bit of how I tick, built with the “ism” and far too much logic and “intelligence” for my own good.

What, you may ask, is this “ism” I am always referring to?  I have heard it described as “I sabotage myself” or “incredibly short memory,” but the bottom line (for me) is it is the way I am wired.  I don’t tend to think like other people (other than those with their own “ism.”)  My thought process will constantly need to be tweaked and tuned up in order to work its way up to what would be considered “normal” out there in the real world.  I simply don’t think the same way as others, but knowing is is half the battle, the other half being the way I maintain and eradicate this “ism” on a daily (and sometimes hourly or moment-by-moment) basis.  I do this, by the way, to feel better, not to achieve what could be considered “normalcy.”

One of my chosen weapons for my understanding of happiness is my gratitude.  For many years I have both struggled and learned to change my life completely, to understand and recognize the problem.  In this time I have built the means to understand and combat my “ism” with contrary action and a healthy dose of closely looking at the many things that I have been given, whether through hard work or good fortune.  Living in a problem without seeking its solution is a dead end and does not provide anything but the cyclical negatives, anger and wasted time. To live humbly in gratitude is the paradox of my “ism” and each and every time I am able to remember that I slay the foe and gain a happiness that has always been elusive in a fear-driven thought process.

What is most important about accepting gratitude as a tool with results is in seeing it work.  When I write a list down for myself, for my sponsor, or for a group that writes them on a semi-daily basis, I immediately see the manifestation.  Even on the mornings that might conjure up the act of rolling eyes when trying to imagine gratitude I see the shift in my personal outlook simply by forcing myself to think towards the positive rather than sitting blindly (or sometimes willingly) in the negative.  Negatives can be addictive and comfortable for some, but for me they always cause some form of remorse and are not conducive to any form of enjoyment in the moment.  One thing I have become completely aware of is that the moment is all I have got.

In the end it has become obvious to me that the act of gratitude changes my state of mind, thinking and being.  In doing so it is, on a daily basis, saving my life.  There is nothing more important that working through whatever my “ism” presents itself to be and the most immediate tool in my arsenal is always going to be the contrary thinking of gratitude.

By the way:  today I am grateful that I can share my thoughts and have the means by which to do so.

Stop.  Smile.  Breathe.

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