Recently I had a somewhat traumatic experience where a dog jumped in front of my car. The event happened so quickly that I was lost and numb at the same time. This poor animal suffered because the owners were negligent and very obviously intoxicated.
My children were in the car and also my girlfriend. I was fortunate that my children are not old enough to understand what just happened. I have to admit that I was scare for my life and my family’s life too. We were ok one moment and in the next instant tragedy happened.
Life is fickle like that.
Things can be going your way one moment and then next moment the unimaginable can happen.
After this experience I was struck with gratitude that my family was ok. No one was physically hurt. Emotionally the events that happened left a traumatic wound on my heart that still affects me at this particular moment. I began to think when was the last time that I felt gratitude.
I live most of my life on automatic pilot mode. Almost unconscious about the good that exists in the world. Today I have a newer respect for life. I am grateful for the opportunity to be alive. I have witnessed and walked with others in pain enough to say that life is not always sunshine and roses. The underside of gratitude is finding meaning in the suffering that exists in this world.
I cannot make sense of it all. But who really can?
As painful as an experience it was to watch the dog pass away before my eyes I felt a deeper connection to my higher power for saving my life. That night I could have very well ended up in the hospital or at the worst died.
Why is it so hard to stop and take a moment of gratitude? The difficulty for me to be grateful is I must admit that I need other people in my life. There is a level of vulnerability required to show people gratitude. Living a life filled with gratitude does not mean that you cannot have negative experiences.
What it does mean is that you take into account all the good that has happened.
So I pause today to write this post about my thoughts on gratitude and turning a new leaf.
I could say that I will make an effort every day to be grateful. But the reality of the situation is my automatic pilot mode comes back into the play without noticing. I jump from one experience to the next. My intention is to step back at least once per day and reflect on what has happened in my life. What has the “good” parts of my day taught me? In looking at the negative experiences what can I also learn from those.
The dog hitting my car was not a good experience. That being said I still learned to grow from it. I learned to show others that I need them more than one might realize. I also came to the idea that life is shorter than expected. Shorter than I ever thought. I need to focus my attention on what matters most. Everything else will fall into place.
Living a life without gratitude cannot be an option any longer. Studies have shown the benefits of gratitude practiced on a daily basis. Even when I am feeling down in the dumps I can pull out a morsel of goodness to be learned from each new experience. I ask you to consider how gratitude can play a more vital role in your life?
How can you reflect more consciously on your day and seek the lessons to be learned?
What does a life without gratitude in your heart and mind look like?
Thanks for reading. As always please feel free to post a comment or question below.