Contentment and satisfaction are built on the ability to see the miracle in everything, and that ability is built on gratitude. No matter what life’s circumstances, there are opportunities every moment to be grateful, and there are opportunities for discontentment. We have the freedom to choose between them by choosing what we focus on.
Focusing or meditating on gratitude tends to have a snowball effect. The more we focus on gratitude, the more that we find to be grateful for. The more we find to be grateful for, the easier it is to focus on gratitude. It can get almost overwhelming to the point where the recognition of everything as a miracle becomes undeniable.
From Living Hell to Gratitude – A Personal Perspective
There was a time in my life when I had no freedom. My freedom was not taken from me by the legal system, Nazis or anything outside of me. It was taken from me by my inability to let go of my addictions.
My life was controlled by my obsessions with finding ways to get high and to escape real life. I was miserable, afraid, constantly pissed off, consumed by shame and self-loathing and completely alone. The loneliness I felt is what stands out in my mind the most today. I was so disconnected from other people, from God and anything outside my ego, except drugs. The pain of loneliness was so intense that I could literally feel it physically in my stomach.
What was so compelling about this experience is that I could see clearly what I was doing to myself, yet any attempts I made to change failed. I had become convinced that this was the way life was going to be for me.
So, imagine resigning to the fact that you are doomed to a life of misery and failure yet finding yourself where I am today. I have an accelerating career, a college degree, talents I knew nothing about, a beautiful home and a family that I adore and connect with like nothing I had ever imagined. I have this website which allows me to share my experiences and the things that I learn with the world on a daily basis. I am actually still alive which is more than I had expected.
Today, when I think back to waking up at 3AM on the living room floor next to a pool of vomit, surrounded by the destruction of a recent drug-enhanced temper tantrum and wondering why the last thing I remember, I was surrounded by people I called friends and am now completely alone, I am overcome with gratitude. I am grateful for the appreciation I have for life today, for the compassion that experience taught me, the motivation to continue growing spiritually and the absolute, undeniable recognition that every moment I experience, every item that I possess, every true friend I have and every living breath that I take is a supreme miracle.
Daily Action – Look for the Miracle in Everything
Think about the things in your life for which you can be grateful: failures of the past that are lessons today, ways you have grown, possessions you have that others may not have, family, friends, air, water, whatever you can think of. Practice this long enough, and you will see the miracle in everything.