Appreciation in Adversity
When adversity strikes, the natural feeling is “my life is over. I can never deal with this. What is there to live for now” ? And so on. We lose perspective of the true abundance and blessings that we actually still have. Our first reaction is stress, high blood pressure, sadness, depression and melancholy. The exact opposite of this would be to do what is not natural to us: to take a step back and appreciate what blessings we actually have.
When we begin to appreciate the positive things in our lives, it is possible to achieve tranquility: peace, peace of mind, and satisfaction, once we begin to focus on what we already still do have – especially in light of hearing what we believe to be bad news.
Truth be told, during hardships, being thankful or appreciative is an unnatural thing to do. Hardly are we willing to focus on what we have, instead of what we just lost, I would like to suggest to you reading this article, that we look at the five dimensions of our lives and ask ourselves the question: What can we appreciate right now? What can we be thankful for in this moment?
Take the “Five Dimensional Inventory”.
This means, on a sheet of paper, list each of your five dimensions: physical, financial, spiritual, mental and emotional.
Next, list all the blessings you have in your physical body. Can you see, hear, smell, touch, taste and breathe? Start with those and list every other thing you are thankful for physically.
Now do the same exercise for your financial dimension: what do you have, that if you lost it, you would be upset? Next, list your spiritual blessings: your conscience, your faith, your goodness, your spirituality, the ability to pray and help people. Next, your mental blessings: your ability to read, to learn etc. Finally list your emotional blessings. This means you should literally list every single person (by name) if you are thankful that they are in your life. If you lost him forever, would you be upset? If so, then put him on the list.
As you can imagine the “Five Dimensional Inventory” exercise is a life-changing experience, when done with honesty, patience and humility. It is a lot of work. And it should be done at least five days a week for a month. You should continuously work on your lists. Now prioritise the lists. Ask yourself what is more important to you: your hearing or your sense of smell? Which of the following blessings would you give up (if you had to give up one of them): your eyesight or your hands?
I end with the words of Rhonda Byrne, “Practice gratitude relentlessly. As you practice gratitude, you will attract more thoughts and feelings of gratitude. In a short time your entire being will be saturated with it, and you will experience a happiness that is beyond what you can imagine. This is what is ahead for you when you choose gratitude as your way of life. And if you can really live in this highest state of gratitude, you will never have to ask for anything. Everything you want will be given to you before you even ask, because gratitude is the magnetic substance that opens every single door in the Universe.”
Let us take nothing for granted, good or bad; we can and should choose to be Better and not Bitter.