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Being Grateful: The Real-Life Low-Down

Most of the time when we think “Grateful,” we think about duty: We “should” be grateful; we “should” be happy for what we have. And that never really works to inspire the emotion.

What does work is much simpler: It’s a thing I call Real Life Gratefulness.

It means this: I look around and think about where I’m giving my best efforts, what I’m genuinely connected to, and what I love to do, feel or experience. And I start there.

What do I truly love and want? What am I giving of myself that I’m proud of? What do I feel happy about in my spirit? That is, what have I overcome, what good gifts have I developed or am I developing, and what paths are calling to me, engaging me further and further into LIFE?

And it can get even simpler. I get to eat some fav foods today. I get to lay in the sun for a half hour or take a bike ride. I get to kiss the man I adore and wake up with him (and that wasn’t always true.) I get to work on some stuff that I like doing.

Finding the path of gratefulness is about doing what Pearl S. Buck said in one of her terrific novels: “It’s about finding the path of love; not the path of duty.”

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