dancing in rainIt’s funny how in our world of privilege and plenty, most of us have to make a conscious effort to practice daily gratefulness.

Without even realizing it, we tend to concentrate on what’s wrong in our lives, what we want to change, and what we don’t have. It’s kind of ironic seeing that “all we don’t have” is a bottomless pit that could never be filled.

On the other hand, what we do have is plentiful. It’s everywhere, in the little things and the big things. From a good cup of coffee, to running water and sewage, to our health.

Yet, how often do we regularly praise all the good and great things in our lives? Not nearly as much as we complain about the less than perfect things.

Sure, we enjoy moments that make our hearts swell, moments of surprise and appreciation, moments filled with laughter and love. I find, however, that for the most part, it’s only when we’re exposed to tragic or sad events that we take the time and make the effort to recognize just how good our imperfect lives really are.

I was thinking a lot about gratefulness and happiness when it suddenly hit me that it’s all about what we allow to flow into our lives. It’s about what we choose to accept and how we choose to accept and view it.

So what do we choose?

Do we choose expectations, hurt, negativity, control, pain, disappointment and perfectionism? Or do we choose love, understanding, empathy, gratitude, kindness, joy, satisfaction, respect, warmth and affection?

I think that most of us are struggling with the unsettling peaks and valleys of happiness and sadness mixed with bursts of anger, frustration and disappointment. The reason for that is a negative outlook on life. It’s a matter of what we see. My default in any situation is to first see the problems and the difficulties. It’s been a tough journey trying to retrain my brain to concentrate first on all the good things.

After all, how can we expect the good things to flow into our lives when we are unwittingly blocking them by viewing the world through negative glasses? Imagine what the world would look like if we all wore our “positive outlook” glasses every day and managed to not only see the best in others but also the best in ourselves?

Imagine if we could learn to be grateful, understanding and empathetic every minute of the day, not just in word, but in action as well. Imagine if we got rid of the no and opened our minds to yes.

What are you allowing to enter your life?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog.

Photo by Flavio, used under a Flickr Creative Commons License.

Susie Newday (Israel)

Susie Newday is a happily-married American-born Israeli mother of five. She is an oncology nurse, blogger and avid amateur photographer. Most importantly, Susie is a happily married mother of five amazing kids from age 8-24 and soon to be a mother in law. (Which also makes her a chef, maid, tutor, chauffeur, launderer...) Susie's blog, New Day, New Lesson, is her attempt to help others and herself view the lessons life hands all of us in a positive light. She will also be the first to admit that blogging is great free therapy as well. Susie's hope for the world? Increasing kindness, tolerance and love. You can also follow her Facebook page New Day, New Lesson where she posts her unique photos with quotes as well as gift ideas.

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