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Learning how to be in gratitude!

When you express gratitude as a comparative, you limit the great possibilities for acknowledging the true abundance of the Universe.
 
 Lucy Shaw

Dear Lucy: I recently went to your website at www.heart works4u. com and signed up for the free gift.  I received some really great articles called HeartPaks. The first HeartPaks instruct us to begin to make a gratitude list every morning with at least five (5) things that we are grateful for. This has been very difficult because you also tell us not to be grateful in comparison to what someone else does not have. Can you explain more? I had no idea that coming up with a gratitude list could be so hard!

Dear Reader: Well, first of all, the reason for beginning our day with thoughts of gratitude is so that we draw closer to God or good and intentionally set the tone for our day. Secondly, you would be surprised how many people have trouble with “intentionally” making a list of what they are grateful for…especially when they are told to do it without comparing it to anybody else.

Here is why. When we are children, we are told things. When you complained about the food you would hear: “Say your grace and eat all of your food because children are starving in Africa”; When you didn’t like your new shoes you would hear: “You should be glad you have shoes because there are children around the corner who have none”; When you saw someone with a disability that was disturbing you would hear: “You should be thankful for your eyes, do you see that blind man?”  

Our parents were doing the best they knew and what their parents did with them! Unfortunately, this sets up a “How to” video for you that plays forever until you stop it with new wisdom. These videos determine how you view money, gratitude, blessings and so much more. The apostle Paul admonishes us to not “compare ourselves among ourselves” and for good reason.  

When you express gratitude as a comparative, you limit the great possibilities for acknowledging the true abundance of the Universe. Check this out:

“I am grateful that I have eyes to see because some people can’t see at all.”  Limiting!  How about this instead:  “I am so grateful for my eyes that allow me to see the oncoming traffic; the gorgeous blue sky; the rainbow; my child’s sweet smile; the work that my boss gives me to do; the statement that says ‘paid in full’; the stain on my shirt before I leave home; that Mrs. Jones can actually smile; the little spot on the ceiling warning me that there is a leak somewhere; my husband’s wallet that he keeps misplacing….  And you could go on and on!  

Comparison also sets you up for being in competition with others rather than having the capacity to rejoice in the glory of creation and the unlimited possibilities for the expression of joy in ourselves and for others. Making a list such as this one cannot help but put a smile on your face and in your heart. It frames your day in the Spirit of thanksgiving and praise.  

It is impossible to be thankful and sad at the same time. If you don’t believe me, try writing your gratitude list every morning. And if you want to get all of the Day Framing Rituals, go to the website and sign up for them.

To a multitude of days framed in joy!

Lucy

(Check out Lucy Shaw’s website at http://www.heart works4u.com.  You may send your questions to her by US mail to: Heartworks4U, LLC; 4646 Poplar Ave. Ste 201, Memphis, TN 38117 or by e-mail to lucy@heart works4u.com.)

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