This came to me just now whilst doing the washing up from the night before. Maybe it would have come to me last night if I could have been bothered to do it then. There’s a lesson there, I’m sure.
So, the key to happiness is gratitude. Now I know that people write books and have seminars on this subject and make a lot of money but I will impart my wisdom for absolutely nothing in return, apart from the fact that you think about it. I do not deny that the search for happiness is a complicated thing and that it will be different for everybody, but I think gratitude is something that we can all feel and when we do, a lot changes. For the better.
So, standing at my sink up to my elbows on greasy washing up water, I looked out of the window past a bunch of Gerberas at the blue sky. The sunlight (gratitude right there, I live in the UK) shone beautifully onto the flowers making the colours dance. I smiled. I thought, if that is enough to make you smile, what else makes you smile today? The fact that a diary error on my part (this is one mistake I don’t mind owning) means I get a weekend with my children that I thought was their dad’s. The fact that I know enough about my body and nutrition now to make sure I eat in the best possible way. The fact that I, as a person, have grown so much over the last 3 years (which have been, let’s be honest, quite shit) and that I quite like myself now. The fact that I am aware enough to notice these things.
And just listing these points in my head made me feel such a surge of positivity that I almost cried. Ok, I cried. But just a little, because I’m dead ‘ard, really. You can’t get that from buying a car or another pair of workout leggings. You can get it from other people, love makes you feel like that, but if you link your happiness to anything other than yourself and that other thing or person goes away, what are you left with? Because you never get that feeling again of buying your first car, not with every bigger and better car you buy. When the person you love leaves or dies, does that mean your happiness dies too? But if you live in gratitude then you come alive, because you can always find something to be grateful for, no matter how shit things are.
And as a person that used to suffer from depression, I was recently told that I radiate positivity. It’s because I am grateful. I am not happy all the time and things are not pink and fluffy in my life all the time. The definition of ‘positive’ includes displaying certainty, acceptance and affirmation, moving forward in a direction of progress.
In mathematics it means ‘a quantity greater than zero’. That is gratitude.
So very true – I’m a big believer in the simple things in life that make you happy and that money cant buy. For me, it’s things like a very early morning walk on a summer’s day, just you and nature and the sounds it brings. Breakfast picnics in a favourite spot – that gives me so much pleasure. My healthy children. My art and those that inspire me along that path I have taken. I could go on…..And I’m grateful for that. And when you have gone through some very hard times which my family has done in the last few years, you re-assess, because you have to, and that is when you realise how grateful you are for those little things. Such an important word, Gratitude.