There’s a common misunderstanding that people who believe and have faith in God, under whichever religious name, are taking the easy way out by placing responsibility on a higher power. It might seem so from an atheist’s perspective and psychological studies might find it to be a form of transference, but is it truly so? Is it really a manner of escapism from reality to entrust an entity other than ourselves with the power to influence what is to come? And, in the end, is it indeed the coward’s way out to think that something is in the hands of someone else and no longer within our capability to change certain things?
How to be thankful for joys and sorrows
Conflict has always arisen in terms of thanking God for both the good and bad times, mostly because of the fact that some can’t come to terms with a loving God allowing cruel outcomes to take place. The existence of God Himself has been often debated upon this reason alone. However, the problem remains: Whether you believe in God or not, how can you learn to be thankful for both the joyful and sorrowful moments in your life?
Most people find it very hard to be thankful when they are in the middle of a traumatic life event. After all, it is almost impossible to see a silver lining when a loved one dies or deserts you or when you fall prey to a life altering illness and even harder to find a reason to believe that a horrible event in your life is something to be grateful for.
As much as other people would like to make you believe that this is simply a stepping stone for achieving some great and outstanding positive stage in your future, most of us can’t seem to perceive it in that manner. However, objectively speaking, that is also partially related to our capacity to accept life and all that it implies and also to the fact that most people aren’t even thankful for the good things that happen in their lives.
How are we to be grateful for our hardships if we so often forget to be thankful for the beautiful and positive things in our life? We tend to adapt very easily to a certain style of life and when we do, we very quickly forget that the worthy and lovely things and people in our lives should not be taken for granted. What might have been a blessing for us at the beginning can easily transform in the norm. We might be so entranced with our job after working hard to achieve it and finally being able to do what we want, but after a time, not only do we forget those blissful first moments, but we also end up resenting it at some point. Which, considering that nature and time are meant to take their course, is quite natural.
Problems arise, things change, desires and expectations evolve into something else, yet that does not mean we should be forgetful of the things that we have accomplished so far. Not many of us wake up in the morning saying thanks for what we have earned or received up to this very moment in our life. On the contrary, we wake up, quickly immersing ourselves on our daily tasks and routine, worrying about what is to come and ignoring what was and still is. So, as a first step, we should take a moment in each day and remind ourselves of what we have and hold dear and be thankful for it all.
Going back to the notion of acceptance, being at peace with ourselves and with the world is admittedly one of the hardest things to do. We cry and complain and resist when difficulties arise and we go through such pains to surpass our grief and reestablish balance in our life. But why is that? It is the normal evolution of events? For those of us who have yet to understand and truly accept life for what it truly is, unfortunately, this remains true.
It is one thing to know, read and listed to others stating that “everyone goes through ups and downs, it’s just the way life is”, but it is an entirely different matter when we, ourselves, are faced with these fluctuating stages of evolution. Truly accepting that some things are inevitable and normal is an important step in controlling our fear of the unknown or unwanted. It doesn’t mean it will not hurt us at all, but it does mean that it will hurt less. And, that, in itself, is something to be thankful for!