Count Your Blessings
"The difference between ‘not enough’ and ‘more than enough’ is your attitude,” noted Bishop T. D. Jakes at a conference I attended in July 1999. As we live our lives from day to day, it can be easy to take so much of what we have for granted. For example, when we are unhappy in a job and we are looking for a new one, sometimes the last thing that we think to do is to thank God for the job that we dislike. When we want to purchase a new home, it is too rare that we stop to appreciate the roof we currently have over our heads. When we are working out to get a “new body,” we should not fail to be thankful that the one we have right now allows us to walk, talk, and breathe. We can get so wrapped up in trying to get what we don’t have that we don’t take time to appreciate what we do have.
I know these things may sound very basic, but it is the most “basic” aspects of our lives, those things that we often don’t even give a second thought to, that we should be most grateful for. It is these “basic” things—people, places, our well-being—that it would be most devastating for us to have to live without. When you come to understand what is most important to you, and make it a priority in your life to honor and take care of those aspects of your life, then you find your center. Your center is that place you discover when your life is healthy and balanced. It takes some true soul-searching to find it, and it takes practice to maintain it. But once you find that peaceful, joyful place called your center, you’ll always feel off balance when you leave it.
One way to stay centered is to count your blessings every day. Why every day? Because it can be too easy to fall into the habit of taking life for granted and feeling sorry for yourself when things don’t go the way you had hoped. By counting your blessings, you remember just how rich you are—in spirit, family, friendships, health, career, education, personality, and the list goes on.
Count your blessings in the mornings. It is a very uplifting way to begin the day. After all, a new day is one more blessing for which you have to be thankful. Try this exercise: Turn off all the noise around you and go to a place where you can find as much solitude as possible. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply and slowly. Now think about all that you have to be thankful for. Stay in this quiet state for at least five minutes. When you finish, write down everything that came to mind.
It’s a pretty good list, isn’t it? When you find yourself feeling down or sorry for yourself, take out your list. Read it and be thankful for what you do have instead of focusing on what you don’t have.