An Attitude of Gratitude

November 22, 2016

When was the last time you said “WOW”?

Was it when: m-wenzel-pic-11-2016

  • you witnessed a beautiful sunrise?
  • you noticed flowers blooming in a fall garden? 
  • your favorite sports team won a championship?

During the holidays, typically in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and through the new year, we are reminded by radio disc jockeys, print advertisements, social media posts, television commercials, members of our spiritual and religious communities, family, friends to develop “an attitude of gratitude.” 

Happiness comes from contentment, grace, the awareness of simple abundance. It is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratitude which leads us to happiness. 

Developing an attitude for gratitude means learning to give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. 

The foundation of the miracle of recovery is an attitude of gratitude. And it’s not just for the holidays. Folks in recovery understand and accept that when they become more aware of what is positive and good in their life right now – rather than dwell on what was or what could be –they experience happiness.  They learn that if it hadn’t been for their struggles, they would have never found their strength. They live out that old truism that it is never too early or too late to cultivate the seeds of gratitude.

What are you in recovery from?

What are you grateful for today?

Summoning gratitude is a sure way to get – and keep –our life on track. The 13th-century Persian poet Rumi wrote: “Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction.”

Long after the turkey has been carved, season’s greetings have been exchanged and presents opened, imagine what your life would look like if you cultivated a daily habit of gratitude.

During the coming holiday season, what miracle are you preparing to receive? What lessons have you learned that you will go forth and teach?

What have you already been given that you are called to share?

P.S. Don’t ever miss an opportunity to acknowledge the beauty of someone’s presence in your life (and mind)! Who did you think of when you read this post? Tell them, right now!

Margaret Mary Wenzel is the Director of Fund Development-Chicago for the Rosecrance Foundation. She is also a member of the United Voices for Children board of directors.