Cultivating Gratitude (part 1)

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Kyle Shiver INHA

Kyle Shiver INHA

– Gratitude can be cultivated within you

– We examine our lives not to cast blame, but to discover the origin of our patterns

– Once we see the origin of our patterns, they can be changed

Everything comes down to our attitude and our perception. We are either grateful, or we are ungrateful. Life is good and easy, or it isn’t so good and it is difficult. It is hard to believe that it really does come down to “Is the glass half full? or half empty?” but it does. If you don’t feel gratitude very often, don’t worry! Gratitude is something that can be cultivated within you, no matter how far away from it you feel.

For much of my life I was just a natural negative thinker. I wouldn’t even say that this was taught to me, it was just how I was. If you gave me something good, I’d think of how soon it would be gone. Whenever I accomplished anything, it wasn’t good enough for me. I’d say “I should/could have done it better”. In examining my life and going back to my early childhood, I found that at an early age, I asked “What is the use of living, when we are going to die and we don’t know when or how?” I felt that it was all unfair, a ride that I did not want to be on. I never had whatever it must take to take my own life, so I was stuck here in this situation which was to me, an unfortunate one. So I did the best I could. I was braced against the blows of life, even when there were no blows. I was terrified when nothing scary was happening. This, as you may imagine, was uncomfortable, and created a lot of anger and frustration.

This was simply my disposition in life. Tracing back through my life, I discovered that it was when my grandfather passed away that was the telling point. I was 8 years old, and this was when I made the above mentioned discovery about how I felt concerning life. This attitude that arose from me when my grandfather died had been so strong that it had grown into every single aspect of my life. It basically amounted to “If I’m not in control, then I do not want to play.” It was this attitude, this way of thinking, that had shaped me as a man. No wonder I wasn’t enjoying life very much! To me, life was like taking a beating, and this is not going to produce gratitude in any way, shape, or form.

Many people scoff at the idea of going back into their childhood, or back into their past. What we need to understand is that this is not so that we can find someone to blame! That has nothing to do with the process of self examination at all. We do look for reasoning, we do look for what happened, we do look back on our lives, but we do this in order to find our patterns. Once we can find the origin of our negative thought patterns, this is when we can begin to change them. We go back to the start, back to the core, and then we can make the changes that will bring about what we want in life.

If you feel ungrateful and are having trouble developing an “attitude of gratitude”, there  are reasons for this, and initially, we need to find out what they are. Here are some questions to help you do a basic self examination;

1) Am I a mostly positive? or mostly negative person?
2) Has life turned out the way I wanted it to?
3) Do I enjoy life or is life something that I endure?
4) List some pivotal moments in your life. They could be bad or good.
5) Look for patterns that thread throughout your life.

Stay tuned for the 2nd part of this blog, to come next week, and remember, as long as SPIRIT sees fit, I am here for you!

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