Ever buy a lottery ticket and hear the next day that your no-good, lay-about neighbor won a gozillion dollars? No? Me, either. It is far too easy to feel envy if we don’t have the things we see that others have. It’s also too easy to feel sour when someone you know comes into good fortune. And then there is that whole ‘why does he/she get to have <insert whatever makes you feel envious here> and I don’t?’
Why does it feel that someone else’s good fortune takes something away from us? If we’re not careful, we can fall into that negativity, and dismiss all that we DO have.
Feeling gratitude is a habit like anything else. Look around—is there a roof over your head? Food on the table? A vehicle that might not be this year’s model, but faithfully gets you where you need to go? Love from family and friends? Clothes to wear? A warm bed in which to sleep?
These may be things we take for granted, but they are all wonderful things that others may not have. I often think what it must be like to have no place to call home, no means to eat regular meals, and no one to turn to for help and comfort. How desperate and lonely that must be.
It took me a long time to put gratitude first in my heart. All it takes is just deciding that we want to feel happiness and gratitude. I’m not a church-goer, but I do say my prayers each day; they are in three sections I call TAP: Thankfulness, Apology, then Please.
I first say what I’m grateful for; each day it feels as if I have more, not less. Then I apologize for all my faults and promise to be better. The last is what I want for others and myself, and the requests always start with “please.”
Doing this doesn’t automatically make me a good person, but it does keep in my head what I need to do to stay in gratitude. It also reminds me to remember those things I can do better, and then requesting help for what I would like for others and myself.
Once this is done for the day, I feel that I can go forward with my day, and stay positive. Doing this keeps my envy low and my gratitude high. It may not be a master plan for success in all things, but it works for me.