|Bird of Paradise Flower|
In thanksgiving for life, I pledge to overcome the illusion of entitlement
by reminding myself that everything is gift and thus to live gratefully
"A Pledge for Grateful Living" David Stendl-Rast
Have you ever been envious of another person, of their success in life or that they have more of something than you have? I have and it can become insidious and creep into our daily lives without us realising it. We might start putting someone else down or criticising them in some way, finding fault with them. But underneath the real reason is envy. We want what they have and find it difficult to be glad for them. Recognise that feeling? I do. Gratitude can counter this and help us to be thankful for what we have and to be glad when friends and family succeed.
In Sonja Lyubomirsky’s “The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want” she talks about ways to express gratitude. One of these is writing a letter to someone who has had a great impact your life. When she asked a class of undergraduate students to write such a letter of gratitude she found that her students described it as a poignant and moving exercise. One of her students spoke of the process, “I felt overwhelmed with a sense of happiness. I noticed I was typing very quickly, probably because it was very easy for me to express gratitude that was long overdue. As I was typing, I could feel my heart beating faster and faster … towards the end of the letter, as I reread what I had already written, I began to get teary-eyed and even a little bit choked up. I think my expressing gratitude to my mom overwhelmed me to such a point that tears streamed down my face.”
Ramnath Subramanian recounts his own experience of envy in “Celebrating Another’s Success: An Antidote to Envy”. Being envious of his friend’s success started to make him bitter and took away his own happiness.
Today: I recognise how easily I can become envious of others. I choose to celebrate all that I have. As I start listing them in a spider like diagram the list grows and grows. With Brother David I celebrate this day, this unique day,‘A Good Day’ video on You Tube - http://www.gratefulness.org/brotherdavid/a-good-day.htm