Developing an attitude of gratitude

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There is a lot wrong with the world – that’s true. There have been a lot of wrong things in my life, things that really hurt me, not least the loss of three family members back in the 1980s. That is also true.

For the last twenty years, a big part of my work has been helping adults and children in Rwanda recover from the horrors of genocide. I’ve seen some horrors in that country in the aftermath of the killing.

BUT… and it is a big BUT!

There is a lot we can be grateful for in the world. It doesn’t deny the injustice or the suffering in the world, but it does help.

Here’s the thing:

One of the steps of my own personal healing has been to learn to be intentionally grateful and thankful. I’ve spent years being depressed by what I lost. But I can’t change the past. By focussing on what we no longer have, we often miss the many things we do have.

Something happens when we give thanks for good stuff – it enriches our lives and releases joy in our spirit.

Over the next seven days, I am going to write down something I am thankful for each day.

We may have moments when something good happens that we are grateful for. But I am talking about being intentionally grateful, everyday.

If you woke up in a bad mood today – give thanks that you woke up today. Not everyone did…

If we want to build our gratitude muscle we have to nurture an attitude of gratitude by listing the things we are thankful for each day. As it gets stronger, it will bring us joy and happiness.

I once heard about a man called Tom who was always thankful. When he had an accident and broke his arm, his friend commiserated with him about his broken limb. But Tom said it was the best broken arm he had ever had!

Perhaps that is a little extreme but here is a short video to get you started.

What are you thankful for today?

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