Hateful or Grateful, What Do You Choose?

Wow, what a fantastic holiday week. I am completely grateful for the time we were afforded to spend with my family down in the great state of Louisiana. I took time away from my business so that I could enjoy those little moments. Just an FYI, Louisiana sunshine will burn you up just as bad as the beach. 

This morning I woke up with an abundance of joy and the overwhelming feeling of gratefulness. 

This got me to thinking... What if we woke up every day being thankful for what we have? Instead of viewing our lives as if we were missing something, we looked at our lives as huge gifts under the Christmas tree? 

Growing through life I have learned to appreciate others and the small things in life. I say thank you every day to God for everything He blesses me with. I want to give this feeling to others. My heart finds happiness when I can do what I couldn't before. I go out of my way to help people when I can. My better half says we have been through things in life that makes us so appreciative of what we have now. She is truly a blessing to me. When we talk, we don't fill our conversations with meaningless jibber jabber, we bring meaning and substance to the table. Well, sometimes I do make some corny jokes and all she does is laugh at me and shake her head. She swears she loves me for my innocence but I'm pretty sure it's my horrible lack of joke telling skills that reeled her in.

Not to digress... Back to the point of this post. 

While, I don't do it for the praise or some other invisible sign of applause, I give to others because I feel that I have been overly blessed and have the responsibility to bless others. While I do feel that being raised in the South SHOULD bring some common decency with a simple "thank you" or what have you, I don't require it. Manners are a BIG thing down here. Some call it "Southern Hospitality" but I call it respect.

Lately, I feel like people expect things. Or they feel entitled. Or maybe they were just raised without being taught manners. When somebody opens their life or home to you to share whatever it may be, think about what they are offering to you. They aren't just giving you materialistic items, they are making the gesture of giving to you so that YOU can continue the circle. To continue blessing others. 

On the flip side of this, I also feel that others may take my kindness for granted. They take take take and never offer a thank you in return. This causes my head to battle with my heart. My head sees the other person as ungrateful, selfish, and undeserving. My head looks at the other person with disgust. I give you all I have and you can't find it in you to express an ounce of gratitude? Where does this get me? Nowhere. It gets me frustrated and filled with anger. Why did I give so much? Why do I feel taken advantage of? 

"STOP." This is what I tell myself when the wheels start turning.

Then, I listen to my heart. My heart says, "They can't help it. They cannot fathom what it means to be grateful but you do this anyway because this is how God created you, Patricia." As God whispers to my soul I find peace in my actions and I move on. He has a way of comforting me in times when the demons in my head run wild.

So this morning I ask you, what are you grateful for? Look around you and seek the joy in life. Look beyond the shortcomings of others and find peace in your heart to continue giving to others for your blessings will come back tenfold. 

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