Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nurturing Gratitude

A friend recently passed this quote on to me and I have been thinking about it.

“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.” - Sarah Ban Breathnach

I have been asking myself, "How can I more fully focus on the abundance in my life?"

Three answers have come to mind:

1. In the past one little trick has helped me. When I have wanted to buy something new, like a piece of furniture or an item of clothing, I envision what will take place after I get it. If it is a new piece of furniture, then I would bring it into my house, put it in place, and then likely have to go make dinner, clean up a mess, or take care of some other family-related matter. If a new clothing item, I would wear it, then have to launder and iron it. I try to remember that eventually it will get stained and worn out like all my other clothes.

No matter what it is, life will go on the same with or without those items I want.
Of course it is not always as easy as it sounds. I haven't been able to use this trick when it has come to my broken down van. I admit in the past I have looked at what other people own and have felt frustrated by my own lack. But ultimately it is a matter of actively controlling my thoughts and purposefully switching gears when I start to dwell on what I don't have.

2. Counting my blessings by making lists of things I love and appreciate in my life always makes me feel more gratitude. I have lots of lists like this in my journals. They are interesting to look back on to see how my life has grown and changed.

3. Remembering that everything comes from and belongs to Heavenly Father. If I can get in this train of thought and then take a look around me to see what the Lord has placed in my care, then my gratitude seems to grow.

How do you nurture gratitude in your life? Does it come easily, or are there times it seems more difficult?

Scripture of the Day: D&C 136:28


  1. I am very lucky in that I was born an optimist and a "the glass is half full" kind of person. Having been through some really hard times has made me so eternally grateful for the things that I DO have. I think that just making a habit of dwelling on your blessings works wonders. When I pray, I try to spend more time saying thank you than asking (it doesn't usually turn out that way but it's the trying that does the trick). Oh, and lastly--expect nothing. Then, what you do get is 100% better!

  2. I needed this today. Thanks, I have been focusing a lot on the "hard" things and that needs to change. Thanks again

  3. You always have such insightful quotes and give me a lot to think about, I really enjoyed this one and will give your way of thinking on needing new things a try. I have found that too though that the newness wears off quite quickly, and I'm not necessarily any happier for the new item. My sister Katie always has a scale of 1-10 test before buying things, if it's not a 10 she doesn't buy it. She has amazing self control, I need to work on that a little more.


Comments are much appreciated!