How Not to Make Yourself Miserable

"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." -Brother David Steindl-Rast

They say that if you want to make yourself miserable, compare yourself to others.

I went to a party this week at someone's beautifully decorated home. I mean, it looked like something out of Architectural Digest. Not only was it beautiful, it was comfortable and inviting--just perfect. My inner self-talk began to go something like this: 

"Wow! My house is so pathetic compared to this. I have no decorating skills whatsoever. I should really pay more attention to my home. I should be embarrassed to let anyone come to my house--ever! We need an Extreme Home Makeover!"

I could go on and on... Envy is a spirit-devouring emotion when given free reign. The longer I allowed these thoughts to continue, the worse I felt. So I quickly changed my inner dialogue to this:
"What a beautiful home she has! I feel good just being in this space. I am so happy for her! I really admire her decorating talent. What a wonderful artistic gift! Even though my house is not this beautifully decorated, I'm still grateful to have a home, especially when I think of those affected by Hurricane Sandy and others who are without any shelter at all. I know that I am so much better off than most people in the world. I feel inspired to be a better steward of my home and my 'stuff.' In fact, I have lots of things I can give away to make someone else's life better."

An attitude of gratitude changes everything. Happy Thanksgiving!