It is… very helpful to think of adversity not so much as a threat to our peace of mind but rather as the very means by which patience is attained.
Dalai Lama

I know someone who constantly frets and carries on when her life does not go according to plan. She can admit that she has a wonderful life (child, partner, home, good income, satisfying job, etc) but none of those “things” seem to fill her up and make her happy. She always wants more, more, more. My initial reaction was to become angry with her lack of gratitude and self-centeredness… me I fumed for a while. Then through my frustration, I began to have a second response: sadness. I am sad for her. She has so many blessings yet she still remains unfulfilled: she is empty. And I think she is empty because she never stops to instrospect and consider her real life goals.

So this line of thought lead me to consider my own life and whether I live with an adequate sense of gratitude.

Do I begin each day by saying a word of thanks? not always.

Do I think about all my blessings especially when I am feeling down? That is probably the time I think the most about all the gifts in my life.

Do I stop during the day to take a calming breath and refocus? Yes, when I am at work.

Do I respond to my partner in a way that shows her I am thankful for her presence in my life? too often I am irritable.

Do I tell the people in my life how much I love/appreciate them? Yes, that is probably one of my true strengths.

Do I end each day saying thank you for all the blessings I received during the day? not as often as I wish.

So my own gratitude report card would show a “C” at best, if I am kind to myself. Now the question is, ” Do I really have any room to judge others who get fretful and long for more?” Of course the answer if “no.” So alas, I am brought back to my own fallible nature— the same one we all share, Yet the same fallible nature that shares glimpses of the divine as well. Namaste, indeed.

What am I grateful for today? The ability I possess to be happy and see the many good things in my life.

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