Counting Blessings: The Secret to Being Blessed
What Does It Mean to Be "Blessed"?
The word "blessed" infers that two parties are involved: the one doing the blessing and the one receiving it. There are also good things in each of our lives that we can appreciate, but are not necessarily the direct result of another person's actions; for example, the ability to see. Of course, some people still consider these blessings, crediting them to another being, like a creator God. However, even if you don't believe in God, you can still appreciate blessings or gifts like the ability to see. And you definitely don't have to believe in God to consider yourself "blessed" by other people. In the absence of a God in your worldview, you may choose to use words like "lucky" or "grateful" as substitutes for "blessed." In case you have found yourself down in the dumps or overwhelmed by all the negative things in your life, I challenge you to start a habit of counting blessings, however small, and see how your life begins to change.
A Few Examples
Sometimes all we need is a fresh, outside perspective to remind us of how good we've really got it. Even in the worst of circumstances, making a concerted effort to focus on the good things in your life can really turn your mood and behavior upside down. To help refresh your memory, take a look at some of the following common examples of blessings that are often taken for granted. The list could be made much longer, but in most of the items listed there are still many "sub"-blessings to appreciate that can keep you counting blessings without an end in sight.
1) Life - Everyone who is reading this blog should be alive. With every breath, there is hope for a future. Even if everything else around you is going crazy, you have the ability to control yourself and your own thoughts. There is beauty and power in that!
2) Health - Now I won't make the assumption that everyone reading this blog is 100% healthy, but health is unfortunately one of those things we only notice when it's bad, and we forget to appreciate it when it is GOOD!
3) Every part of your body - This one alone could keep you counting blessings 24 hours a day for the rest of the week and still have plenty left over. From the ability to sense things 5 different ways to the performance of bowel movements, the human body is amazing. You are blessed to live in one.
4) Movement. Some people are unable to interact with their environment at all due to an inability to move. Just by moving your finger on the mouse to navigate the web, you are able to fulfill your desire to doing something through movement. That is something to appreciate. Find some fun things to do outside and go do them!
5) People. You may feel like you have no friends (which, by the way, is probably not true). You may even be left without family. That does not mean that there are not people all around you that have potential to make a lasting, positive influence on your life. Counting blessings gets a lot easier when you have other people to remind you how valuable you are.
6) Modes of transport. Cars, planes, scooters, bikes, roller skates... you name it. Any device that helps you get around better than you did without it is a blessing. Not to mention, think about the paved roads and sidewalks that the large majority of the world lacks.
7) Access to food and water. Did you know that without food and water, you would die? Yep, it's true. While most of the time you do need financial resources to purchase food, you can walk into almost any building and find a water fountain. How cool is that when you really think about it?
8) The ability to think and learn. Just the fact that you can read this hub is evidence that you are equipped with knowledge that illiterate populations do not have. Even just thinking about this whole topic shows that you are able to use your brain to question the world and think critically. So really, even counting blessings is a blessing in itself!
Now All You Have to Do Is Remember!
Being human, we tend to forget things; like where we left our keys, when we last fed the dog, and of course, how blessed we truly are. In order to make a habit of counting blessings, we need to set up certain reminders for ourselves that we will encounter on a regular basis. This reminder could take many forms. It could be a sticker, a magnet, or even a piece of home décor. Any strategy that helps remind you of how special you are or how good you've really got it is a good strategy. It would be a shame to not take advantage of an opportunity to reduce the amount of avoidable stress in your life. Start counting blessings daily. Make it a habit, and you will find yourself looking around and realizing that you are blessed.