When we have good days, we often find ourselves going over the details later, enjoying them a second and third time as we feel the joy of our good fortune. When we have bad days, we may find ourselves poring over the details of our misfortunes. However, we can reframe those bad days by making it a daily practice to spend some time before going to bed each night to review the gifts we received that day. Regardless of our evaluation of the day–good, bad, mediocre–we can call forth the many blessings that were present. This practice transforms our consciousness as it reveals the fullness at the heart of our lives.
Some days it’s easy to recount the gifts we’ve received; on other days, we have to look harder for the offerings of the day, but once we do, we will find there are always quite a few. We can keep it simple and be grateful for the fact that we have a roof over our head, nature, food, and our health. Once we have fully experienced these gifts, we can move outward to the gifts that may require a little more thought such as the gifts of forgiveness, tolerance and acceptance that we may have learned that day. We can also always be grateful for the people in our lives who support us, no matter how bad our day may have been.
Just reviewing the many positive offerings in our lives provides a context for our difficulties that puts them in proper perspective, but we can also make an effort to see the gifts even in adverse circumstances. This can be challenging and may require some practice before it feels authentic, but we have all had the experience of a disappointment or loss leading to a surprising gain. Just remembering this and trusting the give and take of life can help us to remember that sometimes the best gifts of all are the ones we don’t recognize right away. In addition, the lessons we learn in the face of adversity are offerings in their own right, allowing us to count patience, wisdom, and fortitude alongside the other gifts of the day.