Grateful for What is There

What do you see when you look at this picture—a vase or two faces?

Psychologists say that the way we process optical illusions gives a clue to our creativity and intelligence. I just know that every time I blink, the picture changes.

What we see in the picture depends on which part we are seeing— the black or white. Are we focusing on what is there or what is not there?

“Mamma says gratitude helps us to see what is there instead of what isn’t.”

Annette Bridges

I read this quote in a succinct piece by Khette Cox in The Welcome Table blog called When Gratitude is Hard to Find. When I read this blog I said, “yes!” and wished I had written it.

“Even now,” writes Rev. Cox, “when gratitude seems to be the word of the moment for so many things – books, lists, seasons – I find myself coming out of my own season in life where everything for which I was grateful was turned over. A job eliminated. A living situation overturned. A relationship in a reset. A friend told me I was in the flow of the river, and it was whitewater. It was that indeed. As a kayaker, I know to aim for the “V” and paddle just enough to stay upright. But being upright isn’t the same as being settled. So gratitude has been difficult to find.”

Can you relate to feeling like your life has been flipped upside down and you are not sure where the sure footing is? I’ve been there.

Too often I focus on what I don’t have instead of what is right in front of me. I have much to be grateful for. For example, I’m grateful for each of you who choose to take the time to read this blog! I could focus on all the people not reading and dig myself into a hole.

Just like the black and white picture, reality changes depending on my view. We can see the glass half empty or half full, the struggle something to endure or a lesson to be learned.

This Thanksgiving I’m going to be looking for what to be grateful for instead of focusing on what is not there. My prayer for us all this week is to focus on what Mamma says!

Be sure to take a few minutes while the turkey cooks to read When Gratitude is Hard to Find.

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