November 3

GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 3: “Being thankful for something instantly grants that thing a depth it would not have had were I not thankful for it. And while I can certainly live without having had that kind of depth, in turn I will have died without ever having had any kind of life.” ― Craig D. Lounsbrough

We can exist an entire lifetime, just getting by, cruising from one thing to the next without mindfulness or presence. The vast majority of people I know live like this.

They work every day, waiting for weekends and vacations and holidays, hoping something magical will happen, spending all they make to create some kind of that magic, believing TV commercials and hoping it will happen for them. They remind me of the quote; “Most men live lives of quiet desperation.”

I see little or no joy in their existence. No sense of connection to anything other than the day-to-day ness of their lives. There was a song in the 1960s that asked the question: “Is That All There Is?”

Our culture was becoming more and more jaded with “things” and more and more of them began to be necessary for the quality of life we wanted to maintain.

Soon, we saw this bizarre culture of automatons who went to work each day until retirement, then found out they had no life skills other than to remain in soul-deadening jobs. They did not know how to enjoy themselves without alcohol and drugs. And there was no appreciation for the things that money cannot buy.

This is a social disease, a soul disease, and it is far more deadly than any other we come across. Dissatisfaction with life itself. We produce more and more drugs for depression and anxiety, not realizing that these are social diseases, created by a total lack of joy and happiness in one’s life. There is a very simple solution to this; practicing the mindfulness of daily gratitude. Of sitting quietly in contemplation of our own soul and befriending it in ways that create a sense of purpose and joy. It is only done person-by-person, a day at a time, over the period of many months or years of practice.

There is NO pharmaceutical substitute for this. NONE! There is no mental health crisis here. It is a soul-crisis. We are dying from lack of participation in our own lives. We look for purpose and satisfaction in a checking account, a job, a relationship, or something outside of ourselves and it cannot EVER and will not EVER be found there.

We blame all kinds of things, rather than to take responsibility for this work on our own behalf. No therapist or psychiatrist can do this for you. There is no amount of intervention that will create this for us. It is AN INSIDE JOB, that is all.

And I want to experience the fullest, richest and most abundant life possible. I don’t know a lot of people who get this. It has nothing to do with privilege, education, money, success, or any of that. I have more abuse and trauma in my history than most, but have the greatest happiness I know. I have little or no financial wherewithal, but I love life more than anyone I know. It is because, there is a lamp lit inside my heart that allows me to just be happy and grateful for ALL OF IT!  And I am, and I hope some of you get to feel this incredible glow some day too!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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