With all the gifts life gives us, why do we spend so much of our time wishing for what we don’t have and so little time being thankful for what we do?
Because this is part of being human.
Our minds are hard-wired to be focused on the past or the future. We spend most of our time picking at old wounds and rehashing old victories or worrying about and anticipating a future that doesn’t even exist.
Being stuck in the past and the future makes us miss all the things in life we have to be grateful for; the air we breath, clean water to drink, the love of friends and family, the beauty of nature and the sensory pleasures we take for granted; our ability to see, hear, taste and feel.
But with practice, we can learn to stay present and cultivate true gratitude in our lives. All that is required is to be ok with whatever is happening right here, right now, without judgment.
With practice we can even learn to see challenges and difficult people as gifts in their own right, for they are our greatest teachers. Without them we would have no way to practice.
There is a famous quote from the India Epic The Mahabarata that I often use as a reminder of how to stay present and be grateful for all that comes my way:
“Enjoy the pleasure bestowed on you,
And bear the pain bestowed on you,
Wait patiently for what time brings,
As does the farmer with the fruit.”
I hope it helps you too!