I decided to start a thankfulness project, where each day I will look for things I am thankful for and capture it in a picture and post it on Instagram. This has been one of the most defining journey I have started in recent months and I intend to keep going with no end planned
Here are the five things I have learned thus far.
1. Thankfulness is a choice
Feelings come and go and they usually swing one way or another. What I have learned is that even when I don’t feel thankful or feel things/events/people worth thankful for, I can still make the choice to find a reason to be thankful, it’s a choice I can and need to consciously make.
2. Thankfulness focuses on what has been given
When I focus on what has been given, then there is an opportunity to make the most out of what has been given. A reason to move forward, to have hope and a purpose. On the contrary, when I am not thankful, it’s usually when I focus on what has been taken, or what’s lacking, and there’s no motivation and reason to go on and it becomes a downward spiral.
3. Thankfulness recognizes the small and the big things
It is always easier to look for the big things to be thankful for. A new job, a new relationship, a new home, or some incredible progress in one way or another. Yet, it is in the daily grinds, the small things, we begin to lose joy, where discontentment and emptiness creep in. Big things are rare, but when we recognize the small things to be thankful for, we begin to find joy in the simplest things and let them redefine what truly matters in life. To find each moment in each day as a little glimpse into heaven instead of dreading and exhausting ourselves for something that may or may not ever come.
4. Thankfulness breeds thankfulness
One amazing thing I discovered was that as I began to practice thankfulness, my capacity to be thankful increased. It got easier for me to see the beauty and joy in things I wouldn’t have found a reason to be thankful for in the past. Thankfulness became contagious and went from one area of my life into another, and the questions I asked are slowly changing:
How have I seen God working in my life? -> How have I not seen God working in my life?
What can I be thankful for? -> What can’t I be thankful for?
5. Do it anyway
Yes, there will be times when everything that can go wrong, go wrong and it feels like everything in the world is crumbling down. Yet, be thankful and do it anyway, because all the reasons mentioned above and because I have seen with my own life that my circumstances do not define me, my attitude towards them does.