A young man was dumped by his girlfriend. He was devastated and for days he wouldn’t talk to anyone. He stayed in his apartment and brooded. Days later he was found dead in an apparent suicide. He was in his teens.
Another man killed himself after losing his business. He declared bankruptcy after his partner deceived him and carried most of his life savings. He left his wife and three children.
Precious lives were lost out of despair. Friends and loved ones are left with a void. These men were unable to cope with their fall. They were not able to realize that even though there were issues all around them, there are friends and loved ones who are more than willing to offer a listening ear or a crying shoulder.
One thing about sadness and despair is that it blocks your perceptions of happiness and joy. It makes you want to be isolated from everyone even from those who care and love them deeply.
There is however a way out of this. A way to open the lock towards happiness is called gratitude. Life Coach, speaker, and psychologist Jane Ransom shares these three keys to gratitude.
- EMOTE IT!
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
– Psalm 9:1
Gratitude comes when you have that heartfelt desire to thank the Lord. Saying thank you to God is very, very easy – so easy in fact that we say it without even meaning it.
“Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted – a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.”
― Harold S. Kushner
- EXTEND IT!
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
– Psalm 95:2
Gratitude works best by extending it to others. Telling other people “thanks” and telling them why you said that. Don’t keep it in your heart. Share it. Don’t bother the tears, the awkwardness, just take a leap of faith and show deep, heartfelt gratitude towards that person. In the end you may not realize it, but slowly you become changed as you continue the practice.
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
― John F. Kennedy
- EXERCISE IT!
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
– Psalm 107:1
You want to do this forever? It is not easy but every day, make it an exercise to feel gratitude and extend it to others. Continuous repetition turns it into a habit. Constant practice of the habit turns it into your character. So don’t stop. Keep thanking God for all those things around you.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson.
I know we are all suffering, suffered or will suffer losses. Some even have it on a daily basis. But hold on, God is there. He will definitely bring back that smile on your face. If not now, I am definite that it will be when you see Him face to face so cultivate that gratitude attitude.