The Priceless Key of Gratitude

photo of a skeleton key - the priceless key of gratitude - breakaway tranisitional living for young adult men - southern california young men's drug and alcohol rehabThe only prison I know that has the lock on the inside is a human being. Did you know you have access to internal freedom? You become so used to being a prisoner of fear that you cannot even begin to imagine the possibilities that take form beyond the mental prison. The key that has the ability to set free a prisoner of self is gratitude.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
-Melody Beattie

The only thing that will ever get in the way of living a grateful life is yourself and giving people the power to stand in the way. I have witnessed a young man that had lost his legs and bound to a wheel chair, with one of the most jovial smiles I’ve come to witness. I have witnessed a gentlemen with a $2,000 suit on, riches galore, popular in his community, however, he has a struggle with what he has being “enough.” During life, we are offered opportunities to grow if we chose to view it from this standpoint. If we do not seek out gratitude itself, it will always seek you. Human beings have an internal ache that they are confused by and believe it’s an external solution to fill this particular void.

When we are resistant to grow, the spirit screams for a release-“If I only have more money, then I could be the most successful man in this city. If my wife would just get off my back about working so much, I would be a much happier man.” The difference between the young man in the wheelchair and the businessman is clear as day! The young man has realized his life could be worse and he could also have lost his ability to see, hear, and smell. The gift to view a beautiful sunset, to hear the music that makes his soul dance, to smell bacon cooking on a Saturday morning, was more than enough for him, which removed his thoughts of “If I only had legs.” He chose to look at his devastating experience, losing his legs, as a lesson in humility, not humiliation. The businessman was looking to the exterior to fulfill an internal mission- a mission to discover gratitude. Little did the businessman know instead of seeking it was his mission to create and act in gratitude. If one is not satisfied with what he has, then he surely will never be satisfied with more!