by Ariane Cunningham
In this wonderful, touching and moving segment of Matthew McConaughey accepting an Oscar, rather than talking about all of his accomplishments due to his own merit, Matthew McConaughey chose to talk about living in gratitude.
Living in Gratitude is absolutely essential to being whole, to being your best self, to living your best life. I have outlined four ways to walk and live in gratitude.
1. Live in Humility
We are all one step away from facing calamity in our lives. Fame, fortune, notoriety, and success is fleeting. Make no mistake, all of these things are attainable and are blessings. However, when we attain these things that are fleeting, it is important to never look at yourself as better or superior to others as a result of your accomplishments.
It is so important to view other individuals based on their moral and human worth, not based on their possessions. Others may not have the material things you possess, but it does not lessen them as a person. Never look at yourself as better than anyone. Everyone has their own story and journey in life. Living in humility is treating the janitor the same way in which you would treat the CEO, all have worth, and all should be treated equally.
2. Live in Gratitude
I visited the gym recently and there was an older gentleman, who looked to be in his late 70s, sitting by the check-in desk. I started a conversation with this gentleman and we began to talk about his interest in joining the gym; he said he came with a friend to observe the gym and its workout equipment. I began to share with him my 30-minute daily workout routine of cardio, weight lifting, and muscle toning. After we finished our conversation, he said to me, “Thank You for sharing your experience with me.” I replied, “Thank You for listening to my experience.” This exchange with the older gentleman made my day, and I was grateful for our conversation.
The Bible says “Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” (Hebrews 13:2) Small acts of kinds and gratitude go a long way. Try to implement at least one random act of kindness to a stranger each day. It could be a smile, simply saying hello, or asking about their day. These small acts of kindness can change someone’s life, and make their day and yours.
3. Live in Forgiveness
Maya Angelou has an amazing quote that says, “Bitterness is like a cancer, it eats upon its host.” We all have feelings of bitterness as a result of being wronged by others. We have all wronged others and hence, have not forgiven ourselves. The simple act of forgiveness can change our lives, and the lives of our loved ones and those around us.
First, we must forgive ourselves for allowing bitterness to fester. We must forgive ourselves for living without forgiveness. You may have said something to someone that was overly critical or hurtful, or you may have done something five or ten years ago for which you have not yet forgiven yourself. None of us are perfect. The Bible tells us that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Forgive yourself today, in this moment. Whether is it through a personal prayer of forgiveness, or calling a person to whom you have wronged to ask for their forgiveness. After taking these steps, Move Forward and Let it Go.
Secondly, forgive others. This is much easier said than done. There are things that others have done to us that have caused us great pain and suffering. In order for us to live in freedom of spirit and mind, forgiving others is paramount.
My friends, forgiveness does not mean we should stay in a toxic relationship, stay in a relationship that is verbally or physically abusive, or stay in a relationship that is otherwise harmful to us. In these circumstances, you may forgive and WALK AWAY from these situations so that you remain whole, free from abuse, free of harm, and free from the threat of harm. Forgive, WALK AWAY, and seek help. A helpful resource to begin the healing process from an abusive relationship is ncadv.org (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). You can use this resource to seek help, and begin the forgiving and healing process.
4. Live in God’s Grace
We must count it all joy that in the midst of it all, God continually allows us to live in his Grace. “God gives Grace generously. As the scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6) We must walk humbly in God’s Grace, realizing that it is a gift that none of us have earned or can ever earn. God’s Grace is a gift for all of those who believe in him and trust him. With this knowledge, we are able to walk in the gift of God’s Grace humbly, boldly, and with confidence! Here are a few other verses in the Bible that reassure us of God’s Grace.
- “My Grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
- “So let us come boldly to the throne of our Gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find Grace to help us when need it most.” (Hebrews 14:16)
- God saved you by his Grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8)
Finally, my friends, let’s Walk in Gratitude by following these four steps: Live in Humility, Live in Gratitude, Live in Forgiveness and, lastly, Live in God’s Grace.