I have been writing about gratitude for over three years now. And I have had a regular daily gratitude practice for close to 5 years straight. Lately I have felt as though I am only skimming the surface when it comes to my own gratitude practice. How can I (can we) go deeper?
Gratitude Tip: The more I learn about gratitude, the more I realize how incredibly powerful this practice is. I use the word ‘practice’ as we are all simply ‘practicing’ every day to become more and more grateful. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to do the depth of our gratitude and I am more aware, now than ever before, that there is so much more that is possible with gratitude.
I have been inspired by a number of books I am reading right now, including One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Her book is so powerful! The writing style takes some getting used to however now that I am almost done, I feel as though I want to read many of the chapters again and again. I would love to do a book club for this book if anyone’s interested? I have noticed that in order to deepen my own gratitude practice, I will have to continue to grow my faith and my relationship with God. As we enter the Holy Week in a few days, it is a time of deep gratitude for Jesus and what He sacrificed for us.
I remember when I was in the hospital after I had awoken from being in a medically induced coma for a week (read the full story here) and how much pain I was in. What was a very difficult and painful start of my recovery turned into a Holy experience for me. I remember the moment where it dawned on me that as much as I was suffering right now, it was nothing compared to what Jesus suffered in His passion. It was a powerful moment of gratitude. Grateful that He had died for us. Grateful that He was with me during my most difficult time. And it helped me to get through it and recover quickly so that I could be home with my family within just over 48 hours of waking up.
Finding that depth of gratitude daily is a challenge, as it becomes easier to take so much for granted as the days, months and now over a year has passed. When I am reminded of this experience, I use it to feel more grateful for where I am today. I choose not to dwell on the past, rather I use it as a reminder that life is so very precious. And that no day should be taken for granted.
Do I have the answer to how can we go deeper in our gratitude practice? No, not exactly. What I will offer is that when you look back on a most difficult time in your life, are you able to find something to be grateful for? Use that feeling, from that most challenging time, to go deep in your gratitude practice today and see where that leads you.