Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Today I learned: Gratitude is the antidote to fear

This saying is something I heard today.

If I think about the things I fear, then there are many things that may come to my mind: Being expelled from the company I work for, losing my job, not finishing the the love projects I have, not being accepted. But there may be even more drastic things, like losing my health, losing my family, being ignored by the ones I love, etc. The longer I think about this, the more frightening it becomes. Finally, my mind would come up with some super weird, super sick fantasy about something, that will never happen.

So why is gratitude the antidote to this? Because it helps you to focus on the good parts.
If I focus on what I am thankful for, not much comes to mind. One trick for me, that works is to focus on what I might be thankful for. Then events, that were fascinating, where I participated, come to my mind. My wonderful sons, as well as my beautiful wife. But also the little things, like that coffee this morning or being able to come home in a relaxed way (train riding rocks). Being able to breathe and being able to pray.

Out of this focus, it's impossible to focus on the possible negative outcomes in life.
What if I would really lose my job? Don't know. I would be sad probably. But I would find another one. Maybe that new one would be even better.

What if I would lose my family? Don't know. I would horribly sad, for sure. But after a time, I would get over it and go on with life. And who knows, probably I would value life even more than I do today.

Don't get me wrong: I do not wish any of those bad things to happen to anybody. But bad things will happen, inevitably, to everybody. The question I want to ask myself then: "What good can I get out of this? What can I be thankful for because of this?". I know, that's no a single magic button, that you press and everything will be fine, but a shift in thinking.

The bible says, that "We know, that all things work together for good to those who love God". This is an incredibly powerful statement. If you can believe this, there is nothing not to be thankful for and hence nothing to fear.

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