Good Days with LJ

by LJ Chaplin about a month ago in happiness

Chapter One: Banish The Blues With Gratitude

Good Days with LJ

Everybody reaches a stage in their lives where sometimes finding the good in all things can become somewhat of a tedious task. With social media evolving into a growing platform for body-shaming, cyber-bullying, cultural slander, and just pure negativity, it has become increasingly challenging to plant seeds of inspiration when the very soil that we are lucky to have as a generation is tainted.

"We can complain because rose bushes has thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses" - Alphonse Karr

There are so many beautiful things nestled in these metaphorical thorns that we have allowed to grow in this world, that sometimes we need to allow ourselves to stop, smell the roses and appreciate its beauty. There are plenty of ways we can do this, even if time is not on our side or clouds are over our heads. One option is to hold a glorious sense of gratitude.

"None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy" - Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

Upon hearing the word 'gratitude', naturally we assume it is to just simply be grateful. However there is so much more!

  • It is celebrating the warmth of the Sun after a long, bitter Winter.
  • It is your first cup of coffee in the morning that shakes the sleep from our bones after a restless night.
  • It is that fluttering in your stomach when somebody compliments your outfit or even your smile.

Gratitude is showing appreciation for the big and little things in life, as well as returning kindness to those who have expressed the same to you. But how can we express gratitude or capture these precious moments that fill us with joy when we need it most?

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well" - Voltaire

PHOTOGRAPHY

For me, photography is such an incredible way of expressing gratitude. As a photographer in training I have learnt that taking the perfect photo forces you to find something that may appear mundane, and search for that one shot that reveals a level of beauty others would not necessarily notice. It could be a piece of graffiti mixed within buildings that boasts a political or cultural statement, or it could be a street performer on the London Underground that is anchored in a river of commuters and tourists. It is has taught me to pay attention to the little things as even they have a lasting impact on the bigger picture.

A GRATITUDE BOOK

Some friends of mine have lovingly suggested this incredible idea of starting a gratitude book, something that they have been doing themselves. What is a gratitude book, you ask? It is a simple yet empowering concept or writing down a small list of things from your day that you are grateful for. The list can be as long or as short as you like, and they can be something big or something minuscule, so long as it made you happy!

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough" - Oprah Winfrey

I would like to finish with 3 things that I am grateful for from today:

  1. I am grateful for the cool morning breeze in my bedroom this morning, as well as waking up next to the man that I love.
  2. I am grateful for spending the day with friends, laughing and enjoying each other's company.
  3. I am grateful for the perfect cup of tea that was made for me whilst I wrote this article.

Always remember that the next time you see negative content splashed across your social platforms, or you feel that life is feeling just a little heavier than normal, search for the good things. They are around somewhere, and the good sure as hell outweighs the bad every time!

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LJ Chaplin

24, poet/writer, UK

See all posts by LJ Chaplin