Looking For Gratitude

In April 2021, times are trying. The pandemic continues to kill people, but not as many since the vaccine is available. Families are hoping for their children to return to school, or at least more normal types of activities for high school graduations, applications for college, or socializing with other children. Families wish to plan weddings, be with their elderly parents who are in the hospitals, and, sadly attend funerals of their loved ones. People are tired of the lock downs. People want life to go back to the old normal.

President Biden and other leaders are working on a national infrastructure plan to help communities with roads, bridges, buildings, and other structural improvements which appear neglected recently. Such national objectives would help improve the economy by helping the unemployed get jobs. Politically the Democrats and Republicans still differ more than agree on almost all issues.

Culturally, Black Lives Matters advocates are focused on the trial of the officer that sat on George Floyd’s neck, and Asian-American hate crimes are on the increase. Some members within the White community are still frustrated, as evidenced by the January 6, 2021 march on the Capital of the USA. So, my thoughts for today direct us to ask:

How do I find gratitude when the world around me seems to be unstable and ever changing?

Typically most people like for their worlds to stay the same. Change is difficult for some people. With so much apparent change in the air these days, how can one become happy and experience gratitude in contrast to anxiety and fear or depression?

My post on February 20, 2021 titled “Personality Traits Along the Road to Gratitude” emphasized personality theory. I would like to extend those thoughts today to look specifically at “Trait theory” also called “dispositional theory” within today’s posting. My thoughts are based on the information on the site en.m.wikipedia.org, under Trait theory.

Specifically, professionals who study “traits” look at your habitual patterns, i.e., your habits, your thoughts, and your emotions. Your traits are aspects of your personality that seem to be stable over time. People’s traits differ. For example, some people are more outgoing or extroverted while other people tend to be more quiet, enjoy being alone, or introverted.

While your personality traits are relatively stable, your “states” are not.

That is, “states” are transitory.

So, if you are trying to be in “a state of gratitude daily” you must work at it.

To put it a different way, your personality traits make you inclined to act and think and feel in a predictable way, but your “state of mind” is not stable. It is not predictable. It is not habitual. These postings are designed to help you find your “state of gratitude”, but you have to look for it. You have to develop an “attitude of gratitude”; you have to deliberately strive to emphasize joy and happiness and being grateful, even in the midst of chaos.

A State of Gratitude is learned. It is practiced. It is based on your own moral virtues. It is derived from your beliefs and values, and life experiences. You pull up the emotion of gratefulness from deep within, perhaps during your meditation, or reading scriptures, or listening to inspirational speakers, or walking in nature, or listening to beautiful music, or observing acts of kindness to others.

So, my request for you today is to pause (right now), take a deep breath, look around you, think of something joyful from your past, or today in your present environment, or dream about something meaningful in your future. Take even a few seconds to place your mind in a “state of gratitude”. The more you practice granting yourself a few seconds at a time, the more grateful you will become.

Even when craziness is all around you, look for gratitude.

You will find it!

Now tell me….what did you find today that gave you joy?

This is #gratitudelite following the categories posted on February 28, 2021 titled: Your Choice: Gratitude Zero, Gratitude Lite, or Gratitude Ultra.

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