Digital publication - Page 22

Find the Gift

Laura G. Wright of Building the Bridge, LLC

Sacred Ground Herbals

Brick, NJ

I’ve got a cool riddle for you. Ready?

I'm thinking of something that is completely free of charge. It is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It's as abundant or as scarce as you want it to be, and you'll never run out of it as long as you are alive. You can also give as much of it away as you would like without ever depleting your own supply; in fact, the more you give, the more of it you have to give. You have the ability to decide how and when it shows up in your life, and under what circumstances you acknowledge it, or if you ever actually do. It's one of most difficult things to have for more than even a few seconds at a time, and most people forget it exists.

What do you think? I'll give you a hint: it's not "time".

Here are a couple more clues:

*There is no way to really measure it.

*It's almost always the last thing people have on their minds after something lousy happens.

OK, reveal coming in three...two...one...

The answer is:

GRATITUDE

If you said "happiness", "peace", or "kindness", I'd also give you points. Those are all fine answers. However, what I'm talking about here is gratitude.

Think about the last time something genuinely tough happened, either to you or because of you. Did you think about giving thanks for that moment? Of course not; in reality, you probably cursed, maybe a lot, and most likely wished for it not to be happening or to have happened. I doubt the words "thank you" were rolling around abundantly in your mind, and most likely never came close to leaving your mouth.

What I've learned about gratitude is that it is especially useful during those challenging times, and somehow equips me better for managing them. It seems counter-intuitive, I know. However, when I realized that there is a lesson for me in everything...everything changed.

Barring true tragedies, no matter how "bad" I think something is, there is always an awesome lesson in there somewhere. Ironically, the case is usually that the worse the thing is, the more valuable the lesson.

So how do you apply gratitude to life when you really, really don't want to give thanks? When it would be so much easier just to get mad, curse, and blame someone else?

First, you shift your perspective. The only way we really know how strong we are, how resourceful we are, or how patient we are, is by facing things that challenge what we think we know about ourselves. I would say pretty confidently that getting to know myself better has never turned out badly for me.

Then, you find the gift. You look for the lesson. It's in there somewhere, I promise. Sometimes it's in the form of learning a new tool, and sometimes it shows up as a learning of what not to do so that [x] doesn't ever happen again. And that's a good thing, because repeatedly doing what doesn't work...well, that's a whole different article.

They say "Live and learn"; I say: "Live and learn, then apply what you've learned, and, if you're really ambitious, share it with someone else."

You got this.