November is the month it seems that we are most aware of the concept of being thankful. When we seem to talk about gratitude the most. I have always assumed that this is because of the beginning of the winter holiday season, and the month of Thanksgiving in particular.
However, I have learned over the years that gratitude is something that is helpful to reflect upon and to acknowledge every day. Several years ago, when I was first figuring out how to live on my own, care for my child, and be able to create a relatively contented life, daily acknowledgement of what I was grateful for helped tremendously. I would spend the first few moments of being awake, to list several things that I was grateful for. Not only did it help me to focus on what was good in my life, but also to create a routine that helped to change my perspective.
I learned quickly, however, that gratitude is not about having what we want, necessarily. So, I could wake up, and teach myself gratitude, every single day, even if my life didn’t look precisely as I wanted it to look. Gratitude is not only for when we have lives that we have desired; or the relationship we have been waiting for, the job we most wanted, the amount of money that leaves us feeling satisfied. Of course, being grateful for things that we have wanted is still gratitude. But, for me, it is much deeper than even that.
For me, gratitude is most powerful and telling when we are grateful, especially when we don’t have the life that we would have asked for. Like during a pandemic. Like ten years ago when I was scared and not sure how my life would eventually turn out. Not sure if I would have what I most wanted. Not sure how I would be able to manage life on my own. At those times, gratitude helps to put life into perspective. That there are always aspects of our life that we get to be grateful for, no matter what the world is showing us. No matter what is, or isn’t, showing up for us.
Gratitude reminds us of the gift of Life. The gift of being here, and being present.
Gratitude is for every day.