I recently received a message on Instagram asking if I would write a little bit about gratitude and light for a new site called: Of One Light. I very rarely consent to requests like this anymore because I tend to overschedule myself, but the spirit tugged on my heart and I accepted Chelsie's request. I wrote and rewrote a bunch of things with no satisfaction and I'm not sure why this ended up the way it did, but here is what came out. I enjoyed Chelsie's thoughts about what I submitted (you can read them here) and think you might really enjoy her site.
"Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all of the others" – Cicero (106–43bc)
"For many of us, the world is filled with instant everything-- news, travel, food, etc. From smartphones to washing machines, almost everything I need is at my fingertips. But often when I look around me, I see unhappiness or dissatisfaction. Traffic gets us upset and when something doesn't work the moment we want it to, we find waiting challenging. In addition, we compare our lives to those we see around us and on social media. For many of us hope can be lost when we don't measure up to the perceived standard. Perhaps that is extreme, but I have been known to spiral in an endless cycle of comparison and dissatisfaction. Just yesterday, I found myself despondent and overwhelmed by life and couldn't understand the source of my gloom.
When this happens, I have forgotten the most important parts of life, what I value, and how abundantly blessed I am. I have forgotten the countless things that God has done for me and my family. Gratitude acknowledges God's hand in our lives and, no matter the circumstance, there is always something to be thankful for. I think this is why the scriptures admonish us to "live in thanksgiving daily" (Alma 34:38). Without daily remembrance, we are so easy to forget and stray from our course.
In a world where instant gratification is the standard and comparison seems second nature (usually of my flaws to someone's strength), I have to remember that gratitude is the antidote. Comparison doesn't just steal joy, it robs you of light and hope. Gratitude brings patience, mercy, healing, love, joy, faith, and hope. As Cicero explained, gratitude sets an example and teaches."