Are We Trained to Focus on What's Missing?
Are we trained to notice what's missing in our lives? Does the training take place long before we become aware of our blessings? When does it start? ...when we are young children, wanting whatever anyone else is playing with?
At some early age, we begin to label things "mine," whether it is ours or not. Maybe we begin to want what others have at the time we become aware of ownership.That must be a time when our lack mentality begins to develop as well. Our understanding of the world is shaped by comparing our "things" and our family environment to those of others. What is the norm in "my" family versus the expectations in my friend's and my neighbor's home? Whether we are aware of it or not, we evaluate the differences between their relationships and possessions and ours. What do they get to do that we don't? And as kids, the popular line becomes, "That's NOT fair!" So we make our comparisons and at some point we set expectations for what we should have and when we should have it.
Our expectations along with a lack awareness play a role in shielding us from our joy and all the goodness that fills our lives. The simple practice of gratitude can illuminate the many gifts and the sweetness that surrounds each day. A gratitude journal is an effective tool for reconditioning the mind and it can become a powerful ally in finding happiness.