Again I want to begin my post by thanking you all for your support and prayers during this time. I have been incredibly blessed and overwhelmed by the tirelessness of your encouragement. God has blessed me with such an incredible support network!
I want to commit the primary focus of this post to the topic of seeking an attitude of gratitude in all circumstances. This has been such a necessity for me during the past three weeks. I have had it on my heart the last few days to share what I have been learning in this area of my life because an attitude of gratitude is just as critical for me during my recovery as it is for you during the busyness and chaos that is your ‘normal’ life.
I see attitude as a lens, a paradigm or position, with which we look at some thing. Gratitude is our thankful response for what we see.
Responding in gratitude becomes easier when we understand why attitude is critical to the process. I described attitude as a lens early because a lens does not change the physical qualities of what we are looking at – but a lens can magnify, filter or adjust our focus. When aided with a lens we are looking at the same thing as before, but we see a new image! Similarly, attitude doesn’t change the circumstances in our lives but it does adjust how we see them. If we are wearing the right lens, focusing on the encouraging, beneficial or uplifting aspects of a circumstance, it becomes easier to be thankful for what we are experiencing.
In many regards an attitude of gratitude is very similar to divergent thinking (our ability to think creatively and abstractly). A simple test for measuring a person’s ability to think divergently is to ask them for all the possible uses of a brick. A convergent thinker would struggle with such a test – being bound by their preconceived ideas of how a brick should be ‘properly’ used. Contrastingly, a divergent thinker would believe a brick’s potential was limitless, maybe even suggesting to you that you could use the holes in a brick as a jelly mould or that a brick is simply a heavy duty domino.
There are many different ways to see and respond to our circumstances. Some rip us up, make us frustrated and mad and our negative attitude can hurt the people around us. Contrastingly, if we respond with gratitude we have the power to uplift and liberate ourselves and those around us.
It is undeniable that Still’s has ‘taken’ a lot from me physically, emotionally and socially – it has radically changed my life for the time being, but everyday I have things to be truly grateful for. Each day starts with putting on the right lens and viewing my situation a little creatively so I don’t miss the opportunities that lie before me.
Philippians 4: 11-13