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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Morning Reflection: How do you balance gratitude

How do you balance gratitude?

Yesterday morning I stepped outside to get the mail. It was a beautiful morning, and although it was cold, the sun shone brightly and the world seemed at peace.

I have read enough history to know that in the history of the entire human race, I am very blessed. To be where I am, at this time, in this place, in my circumstances…a large percentage of humanity that has ever existed would consider me very fortunate, and trade places with me in a moment.

Yet I find that I struggle with gratitude, because there is in my core an ambition growling that nothing I have achieved is even remotely enough. I’m not sure what “enough” would be, but I know I don’t feel that I am even close to being there.

And I realize that I am ungrateful, and I struggle to change.

I seek to find a balance, some internal awareness that can be thankful, and at that moment allow myself to find joy in where I am at, yet still maintain a desire to become more.

I have come so very far from where I started, both in life and in geography. I have, in most aspects, eclipsed the probable outcomes of my birth.

I have been helped along the way, of that there is no question, but I question the level of gratitude I feel regarding that help. I think that, in some way, being grateful for help is linked in my mind to not being enough, that I am ashamed for having needed help, that I was insufficient.

Even writing these words I see the inconstancy behind them, but who ever said that we, as humans, are paragons of consistency? It may be said of us that our constant inconsistency is what separates us from machines.

So today, I ask of you, how do you balance gratitude with ambition? Does gratitude come easily to you, or do you, like me, recognize that you have very far to go in reaching a grateful state of being?

I would welcome your thoughts today. Your wisdom could help my struggle.

-- Dr. Alan Barnes

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