Places of gratitude

In my quest for the perfect life, I often find myself trapped in motion to fix all that is wrong with me, others, and the world at large. I believe the only beings safe from my efforts are wild animals and plants. Anything growing within my household, however, is fair game for fixing . . . including the Magic cat and philodendrons.

Whatever I focus on tends to grow, including people and places that need fixing. The little litany trailing through my head is “Well, THAT is just wrong.” Just as I saw that I am powerless over everything outside of me, so I see that nearly everything occurring in the world (with the exception of those lions, tigers, and bears), is just flat out WRONG.

It is exhausting keeping up with everything that needs fixing. All it takes is one view of the headlines and I want to reabsorb myself into a cocoon somewhere and become a hermit.

So, I thought to myself (there’s a surprise, right?), and I said, “Self, if looking at being powerless and finding all the wrong stuff seems to make it multiply, why don’t you look for what is right in your world and find what you can be grateful for? Maybe that will multiply, too!”

What got me started was the gratitude journal I am keeping for my graduate class at Loyola. Each day, I have to find at least five things to be grateful for. It is much easier for me to find what I am grateful for than what I am powerless over, yet my life is an incredible mixture of both: sunshine, tennis, people who play tennis with me, running, rain, wildflowers, the French Open, friends, my home, walking, my job, my writing, responses to my writing, food, and on and on.

Let’s see what I can grow from here.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass


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7 Responses to “Places of gratitude”

  1. holessence Says:

    Barbara – In the first part of your post you gave the perfect definition for “Negativity Bias.” If you look that up you’ll see it’s “A psychological phenomenon by which humans pay more attention to and give more weight to negative rather than positive.” I’m so glad that you’ve stuck your stake in the groud — made a conscious decision — to seek out the positive. In my experience I have found that the more we’re grateful for, the more we get to be grateful for.

    Happy June!

    – Laurie Buchanan

    • ButterfliesGalore-Kimberly Grady Says:

      Barbara and Laurie,
      Boy am I thinkingabout those negative and positive aspects this evening!!
      When I was in St Louis I visited two hospitals that are under my region. My boss has been pushing me for a year and a half about these two hospitals. we have a Lab manager there that is our employee and all the other employees in the lab belong to the hospital. It is actually a situation that I have some what treates with kid gloves from the beginning, however my boss keeps pushing that there is not being enough done inthe area of QA at these hospitals.
      During that week I met with our manager and went over items that are required for my audit at all of my sites, which the employees seemed very cordial and happy to have help with their results. We then had a Lab Advisery Meeting last week, a qrtly meeting. Well I tell you , mind youI didi not really say much at the meeting, Well Last Friday the director notified us that he had a very disturbing meeting with an employee. Mind you that I go up against this in my business as others do not want to change, see someone new come in and start to change things. I was just looking and reviewing thier data and indicated that to them several times.
      The meeting was this morning and I can tell you they were putting words in a meeting that didi not happen, even saying in thier words that they felt like they were being strong-armed, OMG this is very much a lie. The unfortunate part was the Lab Manager who did not say much during the call, and my boss was not on the call.
      Anything I was doing, saying, or requesting was at the expection of my boss, who has been pushing this client for a long time.

      I feel like such a failure and I did not even do anything different that I would not do at any of my other sites. I can’t wait to see if my boss steps up for me or totally caves to her own directives.

      More to come

      Negativity Bias at its best….Trying to fix the world is hard work and unfortunately part of what I do.


      • Barbara Kass Says:

        Hi, Kim, it sounds as if the people you met with are severely stressed; their defenses are up and they are projecting all sorts of meaning on to you and your meeting. I am not sure how you would defuse a situation like this in your line of work, except to possibly acknowledge it when you are speaking with them. People perceive others from their personal viewpoint and finding out what their viewpoint is will help you understand what their perception of you and your position is.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Laurie — I know what you mean. I don’t know if its a genetic flaw or what, but negative is what makes the news and what everyone wants to focus on. I hardly ever read a newspaper anymore. We are always looking for what’s wrong instead of what’s right.

  2. jeffstroud Says:

    Everything is as it is suppose to be, it is only our reaction or response to a situation or a thing that informs us if it is good or bad, which in reality nothing is good or bad it just is.

    Here I am pulling out Conversations with God Bk 1 again, on page 11 it God states: The Correct prayer is therefore never a prayer of supplication, but a prayer of gratitude.
    When you thank God in advance for that which you choose to experience in your reality, you, in effect, acknowledge that it is there… in effect. Thankfulness is thus the most powerful statement to God; an affirmation that even before you ask, I have answered.
    Therefore never supplicate. Appreciate.

    This is not always an easy path to walk, yet is useful to be mindful to accept what is until the opportunity for it to change to change.

    I am grateful each day when I get to wake, hug the dogs, go on our walk in the wood, if I am greeted with other gifts during the day, I am grateful for each of those. Or I try to be…

    I am Love, Jeff

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Jeff — in my effort to live and gravitate towards what makes me feel good, I honestly know that gratitude and appreciation feel a heck of a lot better than whining and crying. It requires that I make a mindful choice and decision about how I want to feel and then look for the thought or way of being in the world that will give me that feeling. It is easy (for some reason) to feel bad in the world; harder to choose to feel good and make that happen.

  3. holessence Says:

    Kim, two things: (1) I am holding HeartLight for you, and (2) we don’t always have control over many things in our life, but the one thing we always have control over is our reaction to them. Take the hand of Spirit and walk the high road.

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