I’m sure there has been much pain in your life. You have probably had extreme ups and downs, and times of emotional, spiritual, and physical unrest.
This is why gratitude can be one of the most difficult virtues to uphold.
We forget that gratitude is not only about our accomplishments, what we have, or the good fortune we experience, but that gratitude comes from simply being a person alive in the world.
There are many blessings in disguise that aren’t always apparent to us, and many of these blessings are afforded to us simply for being alive!
As long as we have life, we can learn to be grateful for it, and uncover our unique human blessings despite the hardships.
Below are some broad and general blessings that you may have overlooked.
Through life we have so many opportunities to grow as a person and gain greater awareness and understanding of ourselves and world around us. This is a true blessing. Learning from our mistakes and growing from experiences is a part of the gift of life. Recognize how fortunate we are to be able to grow spiritually and reflect on our own existence in order to reach greater contentment.
As human beings we have been blessed to able to give and serve others. We can do kind things for other people, or altruistically help another person in need, and we can get this same behavior reciprocated to ourselves. Taking an approach to give back what we have been given and help others feel better is a wonderful gift. When we grow full of gratitude and joy we can begin to share it with others.
We are all afforded protection. Think of the many close calls and moments where you have safely made it through a precarious situation. Most of us have a sense of security and faith that we are going to be okay in difficult times. This is something to be very grateful for. Things may not be perfect but as long as we have a sense of safety it makes it possible to experience love, pleasure, and trust.
If you have a type-A personality like me you are always on the go, and viewing rest and relaxation as a blessing can be overlooked. However, we all need time to restore our body and mind, and having time to relax can be one of the most valuable gifts to receive in this busy world. It provides us a new beginning and fresh perspective. Don’t take for granted the opportunity to simply relax and be restful. Recognize your downtown as a blessing.
If you’re going through a difficult medical situation right now, this may be hard to accept, but our bodies are made to heal. Every cut, scrape, and bruise heals in time. Focus on the magnificence of your bodies natural healing ability. Learn to cherish your health, preserve it, and when you get sick feel blessed that you will get better.
We all have moments where we receive guidance, whether directly or indirectly. We are given advice and receive advice every day if we are willing to stop and notice these moments. Feel blessed when you ask someone a question and they happily give you advice. When you are able to help another person, recognize the beauty in this encounter. There is an infinite amounts of knowledge in the world that is at our finger tips. If you are uncertain about something, guidance is around the corner.
Everyone has a purpose. It just needs to be discovered. When we uncover our purpose we have a whole new outlook on life and can approach each day with vigor and resolve. This is a true blessing that we can uncover a purpose beyond ourselves. This may be one of the major reasons we are alive. Consider what you do best, what you desire to offer the world, and how you can make a difference, and start following your purpose.
8. Free Will
It’s an amazing thing to have free will. We can make choices that better our life and have a sense of control. In this sense, we have control over our destiny. We can also make choices that will cause us to learn from our mistakes and become a better person. We can choose to have fun and pursue our goals at the same time. We are free to choose how to live our life despite what others may say. This is a blessing is used appropriately.
We are made to experience abundance and have our hearts desires. The universe does not lack in any outlet. There is enough in the world for everyone. This relates to creative ideas, wealth, and influence. The world’s abundance may not be distributed equally, but don’t let that fool you, there is enough for everyone, including you!
If there is one thing that is easily overlooked in our day to day hustle and bustle is that we are eternal beings in an eternal world. We are hear to live our a purpose until our bodies expire. There are many beliefs about what happens after we die, but one thing that seems persistent is the eternity of time, and we are a part of this. We are eternal and everlasting.
11. Love and Sorrow
Our relationships, friends, and family are something to be thankful for everyday. Having someone who can give us support and allows us to experience love and affection is such a blessing. Whenever you develop a loving relationship realize how much of a blessing this is. Cherish relationships in all the joy and sorrow they provide. As the saying goes, “it’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.”
When you are waiting in line, sitting in traffic, or anticipating a meeting, do you ever focus on these situations as a time to practice patience? It definitely requires a perspective shift to recognize what a blessing our ability to be patient is. Patience gives us a chance to be at peace, experience the present moment, and remain contented in a world of immediate gratification. Next time you have an opportunity to be patient recognize it as a blessing and use this capability.
Work can seem like a pretty dirty word, but labor is a rewarding part of life. I’m sure we have all complained about work at one point or another. Yet without work, where would we be? Work is the fiber of our lives, and when we find work that is fulfilling, it offers us a sense of purpose, meaning, and pride. Work is a blessing. Even if you aren’t fulfilled by your work, you can be grateful for doing good work, and for what you do well.
We all have many things to be thankful for and that we can view with appreciation. Sometimes it takes a change in perceptive to find all the blessings in disguise that surround us. Begin to incorporate some of the ideas above and consider other blessings you may be overlooking. By doing so, it will help you develop acceptance, strength, and courage to make a better life.
Photo credit: andrea.rose