When life places obstacles in our path, when things seem like they’re breaking down and we grow weary of the struggle, it’s a good time to step back and look for the gift. What gift, you say?
Every situation and experience in life holds a gift, lesson or blessing for us. Yes, even the really painful experiences, like the loss of a loved one, an automobile accident, or natural disaster. There is a gift there, if we look for it.
To find the gift, we simply have to ask ourselves, “What positive lesson can I learn from this? How can this situation benefit me? What wisdom can I gain from this experience? What makes this situation worthwhile to experience in my life?” We can learn from anything in our lives, from a snag in our pantyhose to a migraine headache. We can learn from our disappointments, our heartaches, and our joy.
We can do this with any situation too, not just negative ones. Where is the gift in a boring Sunday afternoon, a crying infant or a gray, rainy wedding day? All we need to do is choose to see the positive side of the situation. The gift of a boring Sunday afternoon might be expressing gratitude for having some free time to express our creativity or enjoy a good book. A crying infant can teach us patience, compassion and nuturing. A rainy wedding day can help us understand what really matters, the celebration of love and meaningful connections with our friends and family.
Of course, when truly wonderful things happen to us, we don’t need to really look for the gift then, do we? We already know what it is. During the happier moments of our lives, we can further honor this positive energy by expressing our deepest gratitude and joy. Rather than just feeling glad about our good fortune, we can purposely focus our thoughts on massive amounts of joy and gratitude, and consciously immerse ourselves in happiness. We can shout our thanks to the heavens and affirm that we welcome even more blessings in our lives.
Choosing to focus on the positive side doesn’t mean living our lives in denial. It doesn’t mean refusing to acknowledge the negative or mundane aspects of our lives. It means we see them, we accept them, and then we look beyond them rather than getting mired in negative thoughts and letting them affect the rest of our day.
Looking for the gift means choosing to lift our thoughts higher than our struggles. It removes us from our victim status and empowers us. No matter what happens in our lives, we have the ability to choose our attitude and our mindset. We can choose to focus on happiness, joy, love and gratitude, or we can stay mired in unhappiness and struggle.
Focusing on the gifts and blessings in our lives won’t make all of our problems vanish overnight, or at all. But it reduces their importance and helps them to fade into the background a bit. We create in our lives what we focus on the most. By choosing to focus on the positive, we attract more positive energy into our lives.
Stop for a moment and look at your surroundings right now. What gifts or lessons are available to you in your current circumstances? And will you choose to embrace them and fully benefit from them?
By John Hester