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A thankful heart… the power of gratitude

Updated on March 4, 2014

When a baby is born, the parents want to share their happiness with the rest of the world. The same happens in the wildlife. When I was a little a kid I spent a lot of time at the country, and I reminisce when baby animals were born all other animals came by to see the newborn. It was quite an image to remember, they were amazed by the happy event, a new life came to this planet and they wanted to witness the miracle, so they approached as much as they could, and it didn’t matter if it was a chicken, a goose, a calf, a duck, a foal, a lamb, a dog, or even a cat, they were always curious to see the baby, even if it belonged to another specie.

This made me think about the awesomeness of the miracle of life; even animals get amazed upon the light of it! The birth of a new life is worthy of being celebrated, and the celebration starts with a thankful heart. When we are born we open our eyes for the very first time in our life, and when we die we close them permanently. When we are born we inhale for the first time, and keep doing it until we exhale for the last time. We breathe our entire life, if we don’t breathe for too long we can suffer severe damage or even die. It has been said that breathing is the basics of life, the breathing represents our life, we are born again in every inhalation, and we die in every exhalation, our cells get oxygen when we inhale, and they liberate CO2 when we exhale. Each morning we open our eyes and wake up to a brand new day, then we spend the whole day doing what we think is worth doing, then we go to bed again and close our eyes, for me that is another representation of life. We are born in the morning, open our eyes to see a new day, a day nobody ever lived before, filled with blessings, a day in which you don’t know what is going to happen, and you will try to have a good time in it, then you will get tired, go to bed, close your eyes, and fall asleep. Some people will go to bed sooner than others, but eventually we will all go to bed, close our eyes and rest. Just like life.

This is why it is so important to be thankful every day!

We must give thanks as soon as we open our eyes each morning! Because we are witnessing the miracle of life working to perfection! We went to bed feeling tired, then we get some sleep, and at the next morning we wake up feeling rested, with our energies restored, ready to face, enjoy and create a new day in our life. We already know that each day may be the last one of our life, so every morning we wake up is a miracle, a new opportunity to change, to start over, and to make a radical decision to improve our life. Every day you open your eyes is truly a blessing, a gift that not everybody receives. We must be thankful for the blessings we receive! Especially if you want to receive more blessings in your life! The main idea here is to give thanks in every moment of your life, just for the fact that we are alive.

Even if you are suffering an illness, no matter how bad it is, your heart is still bombing blood thru your veins. Your lungs are still breathing air to oxygenate your cells, your brain is still commanding everything going on in your organism, and your defenses are still fighting as hard as you can’t imagine, just because they know they have to protect your life from any possible damage. And as long as you are alive, they (your defenses) are winning, if they grant you another day, you already won. If you can turn a tear into a smile, you won. The mere fact of being alive is by itself enough reason to be happy and thankful. Nobody should feel otherwise, because we don’t know how much longer we are going to be on the surface of this planet.

Reasons to feel grateful

Everyone who step a foot on this Earth has more than enough reasons to be thankful. We are all winners, we know that! We beat millions of competitors because in that moment we knew for sure that wanted to live, and we didn’t had to wonder whether we should do it or not, whether we’d be capable or not, we just did it, and we did it for a reason. Can you remember that day when you said, “I’ll be the one to fecundate that egg”? Me neither. That means it happened for a higher purpose, and we still have that higher purpose inside of us. Now that is a great reason to be thankful!

We renew our cells every day without even noticing it; we don’t make an effort to do it. It is like we get born again each day! So it is like we win again each day! Our body is telling us “I’m doing my part; I’m not giving up on you, now you do yours.” Every day is a chance to start all over.

Sometimes we lose focus and concentrate too much in other things. We make a big deal out of issues less important, and we tend to stop feeling thankful. If you have ever been in that situation you know it is not desirable.

Once I heard someone say the following as a joke –I think it makes a lot of sense, really: “Don’t take life so seriously, you are not going to get out alive from it anyway”. At first I just thought about it as if it were simply a joke, but later I realized that beyond that, it is so true. In the end it won’t matter, because I’ll be dead. In my time of dying, will I regret more things than I will be thankful for?

There’s no reason to be sad all the time, but there’s too many reasons to be happy and thankful! There are a lot of reasons to achieve one’s dreams! And when you consider that your time is so limited you don’t want to spend so much time crying your heart out in the floor. Mr. Steve Jobs said, “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices of life. Almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart”.

We are alive now, and one day we will all be gone. What are you doing with the blessing of being alive today? Did you thank for another sunrise or another sundown? Did I give thanks because I have everything I need to be alive? Did I thank for having a roof and a place to lie down at night? Am I grateful for my limbs? Am I grateful for my mind? Am I grateful for the person I am? Am I grateful for the people who care about me? Am I grateful for the animals that accompany us in this planet? Am I grateful for the atmosphere protecting us?

What else can you find to feel thankful in your own life? It will never be too much gratitude.

“You don’t always have to try so hard. A thankful heart is so much more attractive than a thirsty heart”.

–Unknown author.

Be thankful

I don’t know if you already do this or not, but I want to invite you to spend the first minutes of your day –as soon as you open your eyes in the morning– feeling thankful. Say thanks for everything you are and have. And do the same before you go to sleep. There’s always something to thank for, even unpleasant situations, because they are learning experiences.

Get use to feel thankful in your heart. Be thankful for every breath you take. Remember, each breath we take is one breath closer to our last one. And quoting Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited, don’t waste it…” A thankful heart will create a much better life for us.

“You don’t always have to try so hard. A thankful heart is so much more attractive than a thirsty heart”. –Unknown author.

Keep in mind...

“The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.” –Unknown author

Thank you for reading!


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    • Marcelo Lagos profile image

      Ruben Marcelo Lagos Olguin 4 years ago from Santiago, Chile

      Yes!! So many time we take things for granted, instead of being grateful for the little things have received from above. And the best part is that when we are grateful, we feel happier and get more and more, so we feel happier every time. It is like a lovely snowball!! Great to read you, Denise!!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I find that when I am grateful, I am a lot happier! When I am thankful for the simple things in life, they take on new meaning, and bring me closer to my Creator. It helps me to keep a positive outlook on life.