Deepest Roots of Happiness


The root of joy is gratefulness…
It is not joy that makes us grateful;
it is gratitude that makes us joyful.
Brother David Steindl Rast

All day today I felt more richly blessed than usual, almost to the point of starting to think I did not deserve it. But I did not go there. Unworthiness was for a long time my why of crapping on my own joy. It’s so easy too. Thinking “this is too good to be true” or “this can’t last” or “when is the other shoe going to drop” are all types of thinking that often become a self fulfilling prophecy. What I pay attention to, I give energy to and make it stronger.

Intentionally paying more attention to being grateful has been a healthy way of finding more worthiness. Oh, yes my old monsters “not good enough”, “don’t measure up” and “too many mistakes” are very much alive. However, the longer gratitude has been a practice the more pigmy size those little demons have become; still with me but too small to do much damage most of the time.

Cultivating a level of thankfulness that is life changing is difficult when it has not been one’s way in the past. Well I know the white knuckled battles I had to fight with my old ways of seeing and thinking. Based on my experience I can promise that gratitude does bring a pay off and can change one’s view of life to be richer, deeper and even profound.

It’s the outside borders of gratefulness that seem to pay the biggest dividends: grief, pain and heartache on one side balanced with little things like a cup of coffee, a sunrise or a toddler playing on the other. Being grateful for the awful and thankful for the small are the deepest roots of my happiness today.

Be thankful for what you have;
you’ll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don’t have,
you will never, ever have enough.
Oprah Winfrey