Have you heard the saying “the grass is greener where you water it”? I love this response to the conventional idea that “the grass is greener on the other side” because it emphasizes the role that we play in creating a life we love rather than just focusing on our circumstances.
In Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment, Linda Dillow says the secret to contentment is to…
- Never allow yourself to complain about anything—not even the weather.
- Never picture yourself in any other circumstance or someplace else.
- Never compare your lot with another’s.
- Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
- Never dwell on tomorrow—remember that tomorrow is God’s, not ours.
And while none of those is easy to practice, I have found them to be true for me.
Creating a life you love isn’t as much about changing your life (although there’s certainly room for that as well) as it is about changing your attitude. When we celebrate the good, the beauty, the detail of our lives, then our lives look more beautiful to us as well.
And the opposite is true as well: When we focus on the hard, the ugly, the imperfection of our lives, we tend to grow more discontent overall.
I don’t mean to minimize the hard parts of life, and there are times when we find ourselves in circumstances that are just awful and heartbreaking no matter how we look at them.
But even in those seasons, we can find things to celebrate.
And in fact, I think people walking through the really tough times often do this better than those of us who aren’t because they’re reminded just how precious life is. When our lives are simply humming along, there’s a very real danger in getting caught up in the mundane of the every day and missing the opportunity to celebrate beauty and joy along the way.
Celebrating the good in our lives is about gratitude and contentment, but it doesn’t just stop with a quiet thankfulness; it’s gratitude infused with joy. It’s looking for the things we’re thankful for and then marking them out loud.
Of course, the heart of this course is discovering our values and priorities, and that means what and how we celebrate will look different for each of us. I’m not here to tell you that you need to throw parties or decorate with streamers or keep a gratitude journal in order to celebrate your life. Our focus this month is on cultivating an attitude of celebration, where we’re intentionally focusing on the good things in our lives, not on celebrating a certain way just for the sake of celebrating.
ACTIVITIES & QUESTIONS
- In what ways do you “celebrate” the good in your life already?
- Do you agree with this quote? “The grass is greener where you water it.” In what ways is it true for you?
- Make a list of the things you take for granted in the midst of your everyday life.