- Jamelle Sanders
Gratitude: An Important Pillar in My life
As I write to you, I have just come off of a much-needed vacation. It was great to get away, clear my mind and gain some clarity as I position myself for an epic finish to 2022. I spent some time reviewing my goals, revisiting my vision, and realigning for accelerated success. This is my favorite time of the year. As the leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping and I can almost smell the pumpkin pie and all my favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Now more than ever, we have so much to be thankful for. Years ago, I tapped into the power of gratitude and it changed my life forever. I want to share a few insights with you on why gratitude is such an important pillar in my life. I hope these insights will resonate with you and empower you to live a life full of gratitude.
You have to slow down and enjoy your life. As I said in the introduction, I am fresh off of vacation and I am feeling great. However, all of the people in my life that truly love me will tell you that I do not take enough breaks and probably could use another vacation. While I was away, I had a lot of time to think and I realized that my friends and family are right. I am a very focused and goal-oriented person. I have been very blessed and experienced some amazing milestones in my life. On the other hand, if I am not careful I can go from milestone to milestone and never stop to savor the moment. It is a constant internal battle that I have been fighting most of my life. What I am trying to say is that you need to take the time to slow down and enjoy your life. Work will be there, projects will be there and deadlines will always be there. Conversely, moments will not always be there and the memories that you get to create with your closest friends and family are priceless. I want you to take the time to enjoy your life. That means I want you to live fully, squeeze every moment out of every day and never lose sight of what is most important in your life.
Make the decision that you are going to stop complaining about your life. In all honesty, complaining makes us feel better only momentarily. After we finish complaining, we are still confronted with the same situations and circumstances in our lives. Years ago, I made the decision that I would live by a different mantra. Instead of living with the perspective that life is happening to me, I decided to rephrase the statement and say that life is happening for me. As a result, it gave me the ability to resize my experiences and reclaim the moments of my life. Complaining is a waste of breath and dishonorable to the gift of life. You've heard that worry is the thief of joy. However, I want to say that complaining is the thief of awareness. In other words, it is impossible to be fully present and complaining at the same time. Stop complaining about things that you are unwilling to change. Complaining is a misuse of energy and a misdirection of focus. From now on, I want you to stop complaining and start charting the course to change in your life. Never complain about what you have the power to correct.
Find something every single day to be grateful for. More than twenty years ago, I decided that I would write down three things that I was grateful for every single day. At the time, it was very challenging for me to think of three things. These days, I can easily write three or four pages of things that I am grateful for every single day. As I started to write down my gratitude list, I noticed a change happening inside of me. My heart started to open up in ways I had never seen before, I found myself being more compassionate and I was more aware of the beauty of moments. One of the greatest decisions I ever made was to start keeping a gratitude journal. In the dark seasons of my life, when I felt like I did not have anything to be grateful for I found myself overflowing with gratitude. I started to see the beauty even in the broken seasons of my life. I saw the blessing in unpleasant circumstances. Most of all, I saw good in moments of inexplicable grief. Gratitude changes the heart, shifts your perspective, and invites abundance into every area of your life. Gratitude will lift your spirit, refresh your soul and change the atmosphere of your life.
Gratitude is a pillar that will anchor your life. When I look back on the darkest moments in my life, I can look back and smile and appreciate those seasons in my life. When you can find joy in your pain it is an indication that you are growing and developing. Many people read my story and feel sad about some of the chapters in my life. I read my story and I feel appreciative of every chapter of my life. I've discovered that gratitude is a paradigm. It is a belief system and a way of life that shapes everything about your existence. Then, I learned that gratitude is an attitude. What does that mean? It means that gratitude is reaching a place of contentment where you do not live ruled or controlled by the conditions or circumstances in your life. Furthermore, I discovered that gratitude is a life pillar. I am sure you are wondering exactly what I mean by that statement. From more than two decades of work, I can tell you that you will not be thankful for everything that happens in your life. On the other hand, I know from experience that you can be thankful in every circumstance in your life. I've learned that no matter what comes my way I can give thanks with a grateful heart. I can look at my life and realize how incredibly blessed I am. I can testify to the fact that my life has been blessed far more than I could ever imagine. Gratitude is a powerful force that will ground you in every season of your life. Gratitude will develop a resolve in you that will empower you to be unphased by uncertainty. Gratitude is a pillar that will empower you to live in the truth that you can weather any storm and maintain a well soul.