Cultivating Gratitude and Contentment
So often I find myself fantasizing about the the past or the future and all the ways it could have been different, imagining beautifully-orchestrated, stage-worthy scenes that play(ed) out without a single hitch, all according to my personal wants and desires.
Scenes with breaktaking views and really good food and friends who want to hang out whenever I want them to and perfect family dynamics and a handsome man who takes me on really fun dates and a perfect wardrobe hanging in my closet and maybe even perfect argument last-words (ouch).
But real life isn't a movie set. It's messy.
And we don't always get what we want.
I'm [slowly] learning that I can either use those moments to see only despair and what I don't have, or that I can drop the fantasy and develop more gratitude and contentment for what I do have. And I usually find that when I let go of the fairytale and embrace real life, what I do have is actually pretty good.
It's all a matter of choosing the right lens to look through.
So how can we get intentional about adjusting our focus? Here are a few of my ideas:
Keep a gratitude journal and make a point to regularly list things that you're thankful for.
Take fairytale thoughts captive whenever they pop up and pray to shift your mindset.
- Take and print photos of the people, places, and moments you treasure most in your life. (Being a part of The Beholder has taught me SO much about the link between photography and gratefulness.)
- Intentionally spend time with the people or participate in the events you're blessed to have in your life, and soak it all in for a day to reset your heart.
What are your favorite ways to cultivate gratitude and contentment in your own life? Leave your best recommendations below.