Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

It Is Impossible To Feel Gratitude and Depression At The Same Moment

March 1, 2023

“It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment.”

I have lately found myself with deep feelings of gratitude lately. Not all decisions I made in my life were good. In fact, I’d hate to tally a score. But there are enough that I look at what might have been—and I am so grateful.

Gratitude is not a subject often enough here, I suppose. Wise people advise keeping a gratitude journal. I tried that once. Mostly it was repetitive. Nothing wrong with that. I strive for balance in life.

I’ve also seldom  been depressed. Even in a non-clinical sense. Problems? Sure. Wishing I could extricate myself from a situation? Oh, yes. But the emotion? Seldom, if ever.

Gratitude rests like a warm blanket surrounding you. You get used to it and forget to notice it. Until sometimes you become aware of a past situation and feel the warmth within and around.

And we pause and acknowledge deep gratitude. And in that warmth, how can we be depressed in the moment?

Gratitude For What We Have

October 13, 2022

Some of us live in the future of want. It is a land of dissatisfaction. What we have is not good enough. We need more…stuff; better…things.

If we have no gratitude for what we have been given, how shall we know to have gratitude for that which we will receive in the future?

“My son says I’m in good shape for a man 73 years old,” said Bob in the fitness center to me yesterday. I replied, “Yes, my health may not be perfect, but I’m grateful for what I have.”

I try to live in the land of today. Grateful for what I have. If something good comes to me tomorrow, I’ll be grateful for that.

Rejoice For What You Have

September 27, 2022

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” Epictetus

Following on to yesterday’s thought about celebrating having enough. Let us ponder gratitude versus unfulfilled desire.

Explore in our lives where our wants exceed our ability to acquire them. What uneasiness we feel in our gut. Like a perpetually unsettled stomach. I had a friend as a youth whose phrase was “don’t get your bowels in an uproar.”

We look at what we have. We choose to compare to our neighbor and despair of having more than them. Or, we choose to look at what we have. We are grateful to have shelter from storms, a bed upon which to lie, a place to welcome family and friends.

I look around and cannot believe I have all this. I am blessed. Thank you Lord.

Being Full of Care

August 19, 2022

Later I realized this 1969 encounter was my introduction to a Baby Boomer/Yuppie attitude that I’ve noticed ever since. He had a good job lined up after graduation. However, if he didn’t pass this second-year German class, he would not graduate. The professor suggested he contact me (why, I don’t know) for tutoring to get through the class. I mentioned once about feeling bad about the professor’s lot of moving from Vienna, Austria to Ada, Ohio. My pupil remarked, “I don’t have time to care.”

Jesus’s fifth of the eight Beatitudes, “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘carefull’, you find yourselves cared for.”

Life is filled with these reciprocal situations.

Love when shared returns to the sender.

Gratitude when shared returns to the sender.

Even money at some point when shared appropriately returns benefits to the giver.

Jesus makes a point–we are blessed when we care.

Let us make that today’s mantra (saying that we repeat). We will then be presented with people or situations for which we should express care.

Consider Gratitude

August 10, 2022

Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.

A.A. MIlne


Pause for a moment.

Consider gratitude. Ponder at the end of each day.

What has happened this week for which I am grateful?

Who has touched me for which I am grateful?

Where have I been that offered opportunities for which I am grateful?

When have I stopped to serve someone for which I am grateful for the opportunity and strength to serve?

It Takes All Kinds

August 3, 2022

When I was an active soccer referee, we always referred to the players as “ladies” or “gentlemen.” Of course, once the opening whistle sounded not all twenty-two acted like ladies and gentlemen. Always a few hooligans in the mix.

I have met many scoundrels in my life. They lied, cheated, stole. Sometimes I anticipated the actions. Sometimes I should have anticipated the actions. Sometimes I was completely surprised.

People in the industry I serve are overwhelmingly good people. My interactions with good people far exceed the number of scoundrels I’ve come across. These people are engineers solving problems they hope will make life better for others. Many volunteer extra time toward solving these problems.

The world will see both types of people until the end of time. If we watch for the good in people, we’ll see that there are many more than you would assume watching never-ending TV news or your social media stream.

Look for the good that people do and you may be surprised.

And look in a mirror at the end of the day. How much good have you done that day?

When we rise from sleep, we can ask of ourselves, “What good will I do today?”

Just before we retire for the night, we can ask of ourselves, “What good did I do today?”

That keeps us on track.

Gratitude and/or Food

November 25, 2021

It is Thanksgiving Day in America.

For all of you here, I wish you a happy day. Even if your crazy uncle is visiting for the day or your football team loses or you eat too much and feel ill.

We probably need more official days to remind us to pause for a bit and reflect upon our blessings and express gratitude for whatever we have and whoever is in our lives. Maybe make a list and stick it in your diary for remembrance every day.

Wherever you are, I thank you for reading. Many people read this who don’t live in this country. But you also can pause a moment during the day and offer gratitude for whatever you have or whomever you know.

A Fool’s Life

October 19, 2021

A fool’s life is empty of gratitude and full of fear.

Ancient Greek Proverb

Some of us develop mind tricks or habits in order to cultivate a daily focus on gratitude. Sometimes we get busy and forget that for which we should be grateful.

If our life is filled with gratitude, there is no room for fear to creep in.

This reminds me of my typical New Year’s reminder. Don’t do resolutions or goals. Decide what kind of person I will be in the new year.

Meeting a person whose life is filled with gratitude is a joy. It makes that day so much better.

Meeting a person whose life is void of gratitude can ruin our attitude for the day. Or longer.

I choose gratitude. And quickly refocus when I slip.

Gratitude Week

November 27, 2020

Many people are grateful for “Black Friday”. It has almost turned into a global phenomenon, although Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November is an American holiday.

The grateful people, I imagine, are the business owners who depend upon Christmas present shopping (actually buying, not just shopping) to make their profits for the year. Don’t be cynical. I’ve been in business, and most of us rely on business for incomes.

But the ads began early. This morning I had emails from the most unlikely sources pushing Black Friday deals. Even my Website company!

I might suggest that you don’t instinctively just go online or to the big box retailer. Check out your locally owned shops for unique gifts. Or your local independent book seller for books and other supplies. You can find your local one if you don’t already know at Bookshop.

We can be grateful that we have the power and ability to make others grateful. Gratitude can spread just like love. It doesn’t diminish the more you use it.

Gratitude Affects Your Health

November 26, 2020

Years ago I was obsessing over a problem and read everything I could find on brain research. One thing I discovered is that we don’t only think with our brain. Our entire body joins in the fun.

The brain mainly operates on electrical connections. However a number of chemicals originate from various parts of the body that add information to the brain and the rest of the body. It all works together.

Gratitude, what we think or focus on, affects chemical reactions in a variety of areas of the body. Research reveals the health benefits of that gratitude mindset I talked about yesterday.

Your brain gets the benefit of hormones that make you feel good.

Your gut settles down and the various digestive systems operate better.

Your heart benefits from reduced tension.

And, your spiritual life finds additional space to grow.

Mind, body, spirit–all the parts of your self benefit.

This is Thanksgiving in the US. We won’t be meeting in large family groups, or even smaller family groups this year. Most likely community Thanksgiving dinners have been placed on pause. But we can still change our outlook to change our health by concentrating on those things for which we’re grateful.