“Grateful people are happy people and those who aren’t, aren’t.” I first heard that many years ago in a 12 Step fellowship meeting. When I wore a younger man’s clothes I believed, incorrectly, that I would be happy when I achieved some arbitrary milestone: get out of my childhood home, get a job, get a better job, get a steady girlfriend, get married, get some money in the bank, get a new car, etc.Looking back, a significant part of my early life was pretty much about”getting” with little giving. Now, I got all those things, and much more, but I wasn’t happy. Sure, there were happy times, moments hilarious, but I had a hole inside of me that was never truly filled, a longing in my heart for something I could not identify, and gratitude was not even on my radar.
At 30 years of age I was bankrupt in every area of my life and sought solace in blinding intoxication. Soon I found myself at a Spiritual jumping off point,and by Grace I found a fellowship of people who understood my dilemma and offered a way out. They taught me that to get, I had to give first. To be respected, first I had to show respect to others, especially those I didn’t agree with or like personally. Love, first I had to be loving toward others,and learn to appreciate, be grateful for the things in my life today as well as the things that had been removed, for all are lessons in living. As I began walking this path, following directions, the place I had tried to fill with”stuff” began to fill, with gratitude. I was told as well these new principles in living needed to be refreshed daily, and if I did, a day at a time, my life would grow and change in truly miraculous ways.
That was many years ago, and I can say today without equivocation, they were right.Has it been easy, no. Has it been worth it, oh God yes, and today I truly understand that happiness is birthed in gratitude.
© Vincent Lee Jones Living In Spirit All Rights Reserved
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