“Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, it the parent of all the others. ” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
I remember that once my grandmother told me ” darling, you should be grateful for the small things that otherwise go unnoticed in life.”
I was a small girl at that time, hence I applied it diligently – being grateful for the little things in life.
In the process of growing up, with time I forgot the importance of my grandmother’s advice, but in 2010 I tried to remember it again when my life became full of sufferings.
My significant other from America and I had not seen each since a year now, due to the fact that American Immigration Laws give no recognition to same-sex couples. Another reason that she and I were apart was our poor financial condition.
In July 2010, I lost my father and at that time I had hit rock bottom. Life surpassed me. My sadness overpowered me. Life became heavy and unbearable like a bitter storm washing away all my dreams, hopes and aspirations.
I realized that I could not give up. The words of my grandmother resonated in my heart. I sent an email to my significant other telling that I want to make a list of things I am grateful for and I asked her to do the same. I encouraged her towards noticing the small things in life and letting the whole universe know about it.
Gradually, slowly and steadily we began to shift our focus away from the negativity in our lives, the pain of being apart from each other to the little positIve things in our life. I became grateful towards the peace I enjoyed in my house in New Zealand, for being able to have food every day, for nice weather.
She became grateful for all the good things she was able to do and the help that she had received from others. She was grateful for her pizza to arrive on time and the sweet water that she could drink, even though she lived in upstate New York.
We saw a change in our life as months went by and a miraculous thing happened – we stopped feeling alone. Together through our gratitude list, we were able to surpass all our negative emotions and emerge stronger than ever.
Although there were many difficulties that persisted – bankruptcy, mortgage which meant not seeing each other for another year, slowly we were able to the value, hope that we had created for each other through our gratitude lists. Our long distance love was warm. It seemed as if amidst the mud and muddy water we bloomed like Lotus flowers, brimming with happiness.
Gradually, in spite of financial problems, good fortune in the form of money started flowing in our lives. Slowly at first, but the amount kept increasing. We were able to pay off our mortgage and our home in America is finally safe now!
My significant other and I, like the billions of people on this planet, have spent the last few years of our life amidst great suffering, but because of being loyal to our practice of being grateful and the bond that we formed because of that, we were able to go through all of them and emerge victorious in the end.
You can also start this practice in your life by following these points :
This practice works with time and gains intensity which has to be developed day after day. You will find hundreds of reasons for not being able to do it, but in order to be happy, you have to push your limits.
That is what I did when I was alone and suffering in New Zealand. Waiting for your problems to go is foolishness. If you have to change your life, do it now!
It takes a lot of courage and determination to start and continue with this practice and I am sure that once you are able to commit to this practice, your life will change for the better.