One common definition of gratitude is to show appreciation and kindness and to return the sentiment to those who show you the same. I've been noticing that sometimes we tend to isolate what we're grateful for into small moments that seem to be fleeting. We view them as separate from our whole life and treat them as such, essentially an outsider, an unknown, something unassociated with us.
Since 2009, I've been on a road of personal growth. Once upon a time, I had a wake up call from the universe that followed a nasty break up. It was in those times of resentment that I really hit my first rock bottom. The lowlights included emotional roller coasters, impulsive decision-making, and overall hysteria. When I look at my life and compare it to where I was almost a decade ago, it's clear to me what I owe my utmost gratitude to: time.
As a person with insane amounts of Sagittarius energy (wanderlust, mainly), I'm no stranger to procrastination. People in my life ask me why I wait until the very last minute for everything and while it's a valid question to an (infinite) extent, I find that it mainly applies to lessons I've learned on my journey into adulthood. I see it as if I've savored every experience until the last drop when I finally have to move to a new phase. It's how I process things and how I teach my young students: learning by doing.
Everyone reaches a point in their life where their reality changes drastically. The biggest catalysts for my personal journey have been relationships (all types). For some, radical change can happen in an instant with all lessons learnt. For others, it takes time to get away from the dark side. At some point in our lives, we transform. Whether we want to or not, it's bound to happen because as humans, we are not at a standstill. We're always headings towards our soul's purpose whether we realize it, allow it, or don't notice it.
Time has allowed me to experiment. Time allows me to try on different roles, learn from people and experiences, and dust myself off and try again. To me, gratitude is a mindset and like anything else in life, it requires dedication and practice to maintain a state of mind where you are constantly grateful. This is not to say I walk around ignoring my surroundings and remain stuck in my head thinking of all the things I'm grateful for while shutting out what's right in front of me. It's more of recognizing in an instant that something ordinary is actually miraculous.
Time is such a strange thing. We often say we have no time and we wished we had more. But I think time is like how my students learn. Each day, hour and minute are chances for everyone to try something new, to fail, to succeed, and to have fun. Most of us walk around thinking we lack time and we're always trying to create a schedule based on the assumption that time is running out. I see it differently. I think we have plenty of time to understand others and ourselves. In fact, we have a lifetime.
This blog post is part of a series for HuffPost Gratitude, entitled 'The One Thing I'm Most Thankful For.' To see all the other posts in the series, click here To contribute, submit your 500 - 800 word blogpost to firstname.lastname@example.org.