GRA – ATTITUDE
Okay, so I added the extra T, but right off the bat you get the idea. Gratitude at its core is having a great attitude.
I think conceptually this makes gratitude easier to achieve, certainly in the face of adversity.
I read the other day (I don’t know where) “You don’t have to like everything, but you need to stay positive.” That in a nutshell is gra- attitude.
It means that no matter what you face you can somehow, some way see the bright side. You can – to quote a well-worn cliché, see the silver lining in most clouds. You can, when you are feeling down, or blue , or like life is not ladling up the soup you ordered, keep a good attitude going.
As we see by breaking the word down attitude is more than three quarters of what makes up gratitude.
I think people sometimes find gratitude daunting because they think it is all about being thankful, and mushy: All hearts and butterflies, and sorry Paul, rainbows. Nobody can live a life totally made up of mojis. Oh, I’m grateful for the sun, and the wind and the rain and my eczema. Heart, Flower, Kiss, Kiss, Smiley Face!
Let’s face it; it’s impossible to be pleased and grateful in the absolute for everything, all the time. And it’s a boatload of pressure. We are human after all. We contain the entire seventy – two color crayon box of emotions. We can’t deny ourselves our humanness, with all this emphasis on being eternally grateful.
And indeed, there are endless times where grateful is the only way to go.
But then there are times when instead of asking the question “Am I being grateful?” You can say, “What is my attitude doing?” Am I rocking my tude- as my thirteen year old might say. Or she might cringe with embarrassment that I said it. But I like it, “Am I rocking my tude?”
The point is our attitude is where the heart of gratitude lives.
When you take stock of yourself, and the world around you, there are so many places where attitude is the first responder. And that attidude, and not fake smiley faces is an indicator of our gra-attitude.
In our first Affirmation of Personal Freedom - “Something needs to change and it’s probably me.”
The first thing we usually need to change is our attitude. The bad-attitude is often a habitual response to not getting what we want. It can appear in the form of denial, the attitude of I don’t have a problem, every one else does. How many of us know that bad-attitude or are capable of it ourselves?
Being defensive leads to a bad-attitude and is eons away from gra- attitude: Petulant and pouty, bad-attitude all the way.
Since life is life, and there are so many situations we cannot control; our attitude is often one of the only things we have control of.
How we respond to bad news, bad luck, bad weather, setbacks, sickness, stimulation, temptation, irritation is all in our hands.
And the difference between bad-attitude and gra-attitude is how we choose to react.
Sometimes we have to put on the face of a gra- attitude. We have to choose to smile instead of frown. We have to choose to be calm instead of chaotic. We have to roll with the punches and not punch the rolls back. We have to put on our brave face show our gra-attitude.
Gra-attitude is like any muscle, you need to exercise it, work it and make conscious attempts to change it. Then when you catch yourself responding with a bad-attitude, you can amend it, take it back. Say “Sorry, not your fault, I’m being a grump today.”
The other thing that gra-attitude is gr-ate for is how we respond to those who do drive us crazy, those who refuse to change themselves or their –gra-attitude. We can opt to not meet them at their bad-attitude level. We can stay steady, stay calm, respond to them with a gra-attitude. And when you do that, you might just find it can be quite magical. They often end up changing their attitude. And if they don’t, it’s no bother to you, because you choose to live your life in –gra-attitude and trust. You give great attitude no matter what is going on around you. And that my friends, is gratitude in action.