Want to Be Truly Happy? Be Truly Grateful

by Michael Corthell

I am grateful for my life, all of it, and everyone and everything in it. I am full of thanks because the totality of my experiences have made me the person I am today.

So what is the why? Why be grateful? When I was younger, not much younger, I didn't understand true gratitude, but now I do understand. Being grateful is a choice. It is a choice just like being positive minded is a choice, in fact gratitude itself leads directly to a positive mindset. Being a thankful person was not my natural tendency, so it took a lot of time and effort. Developing gratitude for me, took years and years of undisciplined experience to get to the point of saying, ''Thank you God for everything.'' Even now I still need to remind myself of the many reasons I have to be grateful.

Through all the experiences I've had, the number one thing I am thankful for is Grace. I am grateful for the love that cannot be explained. There is no fathoming the depth of God's love, it can only surrendered to.

Our Creator teaches, inspires and encourages us to use our creativity, for purposes we do not fully understand and to do it with a love for people that mirrors His own.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”  ―Epicurus

I am grateful for learning why to forgive and how to forgive, because forgiveness is indeed big part of gratitude. Finally, grasping the dictate of God, when Jesus (God incarnate) said in his example of how to pray to God the Father, ''Forgive our sins, just as we forgive everyone who has done wrong to us.''

This one understanding opened up the Universe to me. When I coupled this teaching with another, I was given wisdom: ''Have faith in God...The truth is, you can say to this mountain, 'Go, mountain, fall into the sea.' And if you have no doubts in your mind and believe that what you say will happen, then God will do it for you. So I tell you to ask for what you want in prayer. And if you believe that you have received those things, then they will be yours. When you are praying and you remember that you are angry with another person about something, forgive that person. Forgive them so that your Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.'' That is how we all can be blessed with abundance.

“True forgiveness is when you can say, "Thank you for that experience.”  ―Oprah Winfrey

I am grateful for the grace of God that allowed me to put away my bad habits. Vices that distracted me and hurt the people who loved me. As I said at the beginning I am truly grateful for everything, all my experiences, both positive and negative because they all had a net positive effect on my soul and spirit. 

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”  ―Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am grateful for the knowledge of good and evil, but for also knowing and understanding that the Universe operates on the laws of duality and compensation. I am also grateful for Karma, for it is the fulfillment of ''Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.'' Finally understanding this frees me of the burden of revenge and resentment. 

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” ―Maya Angelou

I am grateful that I learned that every cloud has a silver lining. And from Abraham Lincoln, that I can keep positivity in the face of extreme adversity.

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.” ―Abraham Lincoln, 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation

I am very grateful that I came to know how to trust God and to thank Him for everything, because He has The Plan for Man, I do not.

“You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.”  ―Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

I am grateful for the people who protect others freedom.

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”  ―Winston Churchill

I am grateful that I learned to love myself and enjoy my own company.

“It is better to be alone than in bad company.” ―George Washington

I am grateful that I finally came to realize and fully understand, not too long ago either, that, 'actions do speak louder than words' and that 'Faith without works is indeed dead'.

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” ―Barack Obama

I am grateful that I learned that loneliness will never plague me again.

“And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.” ―Jesus Christ

I am grateful to my mother, Betty Jean, a good woman, and a nurse, who taught me that everything has a purpose and that there is nothing that can't be corrected.

“If I could give you information of my life, it would be to show how a woman of very ordinary ability has been led by God in strange and unaccustomed paths to do In His service what He has done in her. And if I could tell you all, you would see how God has done all, and I nothing” ―Florence Nightingale

Last, certainly not the least of the things I have learned in my life is that dreams do come true. And that the power of prayer is real. That patience is a requirement for happiness to manifest itself our lives―in God's good time.

Patience 'realized and rewarded' manifested itself in my life this year(2016) when my one true love arrived ― my soulmate and partner―the woman I asked God to put in my life. A godly woman who knows who God is and how to recognize Him, my wife Caroline:

“You can see God everyday. You can see Him in all the things He created. You can see Him in the wings of birds as they fly though the air. You can see Him in the hug that your Mom gives you when you're sad. You can see Him in the stern look your Dad gives you when you do something wrong. You can see Him in the fireflies that light up the night. You can see Him in the rain drops that water the flowers. You can see Him when the wind rustles the leaves. You can see Him in the smile of your friend. He is always with you, and He always loves you everyday of your life.'' 
―Caroline D. Grimm, in God's Own Mouse

I am grateful for the lessons that God that kept putting in front of me and that He didn't stop.

''I am grateful for my life, all of it, the good, the bad and everyone in it.''


Want to be happy? Be grateful | David Steindl-Rast

The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you're going, and above all, being grateful.