Friday, 11 July 2014

15 Day Affirmation Challenge: Day 5 [Gratitude]

I am participating in PE's 15 Day Affirmation Challenge. For more information, click here.

Today's challenge is about gratitude! I'm happy to see this on the list of challenges because it's something I've been wanting to bring about into my life lately. I have been facing some setbacks, and have been reminded to focus on the good in each day and what I take for granted in order to feel better about my circumstances and to uplift my mood. In addition, I believe gratitude is one of the most important things in life, as we've done little to deserve the good things, whether material or not, in our lives and are thus gifts to us. What matters isn't whether we deserve these things or not, but how we respond to them once we have them.

"Identify three things you tend to take for granted."
  • my limbs (arms and legs). Thankfully, I am blessed with the use of all my limbs. It is so easy to take our bodies for granted, especially our limbs, but when you think about it, almost every single thing we do in a day is facilitated by these body parts. Our arms and hands drive us to work, type on our laptops, make our meals, feed us, and on and on. And everywhere we've ever been, we've gotten there because of our legs! Whether it be walking to the bus stop, shopping in the mall, or something as simple as getting up in the morning and getting ready for school or work. 
  • a home with running water and electricity.  For a long time I was unhappy with our living conditions due to circumstances that were beyond our control. I kept focusing on all the bad things and discomfort we were feeling because of our situation and it kept me constantly unhappy and down. Lately I've been trying to change my mindset and instead be grateful for the positive within the situation. The fact that we have electricity 24/7, running water in the taps, hot water, beds and covers and pillows, and a/c when it gets very hot (which is often) is a lot to be grateful for. While we are still striving for a more comfortable space, being grateful will help us get through this phase.
  • the ability to read. This ability is one that is so easy to take for granted because it is assumed that everyone can. However, not everyone has had the opportunity to learn to read, and many of those who do, suffer from disorders that make it very difficult for them. Being able to read has gotten me through all the years of my education, allowed me to communicate with others, find a passion in writing, as well as the many little things we don't think twice about: filling out forms, reading instructions, even reading for pleasure which I do voraciously.
 "Identify 10 things you are grateful for in your life."
  • my 5 senses, without which even a single one, life would be drastically different and downright more difficult.
  • my parents, who raised me with good values and have provided me with all the things I want and need, including good education.
  • my faith, which has kept me strong is difficult times and has served as a marker in helping me make decisions and remind me who I am.
  • the internet, without which life would be more difficult and a whole lot more boring.
  • food. I love food and am grateful for the fact that we have more than enough, and know where our next meal is coming from.
  • my university education, which has granted me the opportunity to broaden my horizons, open my mind, and learn a lot about myself and the world.
  • the weather. even though it can get very hot sometimes, I am grateful for the warmth, especially having had to endure winters that were bitterly cold and depressing while I was in school.
  • my talents and hobbies. both music and writing (and others) act as outlets for me to express myself and to bring something into the world that was not previously there. additionally, they act as stress relief and bring a sense of joy to my life.
  • my friends who have been there for me in my lowest moments and continue to stay by my side.
  • my clothes. the fact that I even have a choice in what to where when I have somewhere to go is enough to be grateful for.
"Identify one thing you can do today to express gratitude to any one item on your list."
  •  In general, when I start giving thanks, I like to consider as many things as I can that I'm grateful for. Therefore I think by even writing the list above, as well as meditating on the good in my life, I've expressed gratitude for these things. It's something I am trying to do on a regular basis now.
 Gratitude is such a wonderful mindset to have. There is so much beauty and goodness in our lives that when taken for granted can sometimes be overrun by the negative things happening. Training ourselves to always look for the silver lining, or the happy or good moments in a day can lift our mood, and put us in a state of gratitude, allowing us to feel more at peace in our lives. And sometimes it's the things we take most for granted that would change our lives in the biggest way if we lost them.

May we always remember to be thankful. May we always be among the grateful.

"I am grateful for everything in my life."

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