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  • Writer's pictureTrevor Crowder


"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

The idea of being grateful is a lost art in today's society. In our modern world, we have been wired to seek instant gratification. The food we eat, the entertainment we consume, phones, and almost everything else under the sun has trained us to get one thing and immediately move on to the next. In my opinion, this is one of the reasons why there is so much stress, anxiety, and depression in our world. We constantly have a dopamine overload; most people can't just sit there and be grateful for the world around them. So the last three months or so, I decided to try it; I decided to "dopamine detox," if you will, and be grateful for the life I've been given.

When I first started this, I realized how difficult it was to stay off my phone; I would get anxious just thinking about "who snapped me," "I wonder who posted on Instagram," and "I'm bored. Let's go on tik tok" were common things that popped into my mind. As stupid as it may sound, I thought I was going crazy while I was limiting time on my phone. That opened my eyes to the fact that I was addicted. I have become enslaved to my device and have been consuming all the negativity the world has fed me. As time passed and I began to get used to not being glued to my phone or caring about social media, my eyes began to open. I became so infatuated with nature; I saw how beautiful it is and how much we miss out on it when glued to our devices. I began to feel less anxious; I had this weird reassuring feeling that I had control over my life again. I didn't have to go on Instagram when bored; I could be alone.

Being alone with yourself is something most people can't handle; modern humans are weak-minded. We constantly complain about how terrible our lives are, how hard they get, and how unlucky we are, and we then begin to point our fingers at everyone but ourselves. Nobody can sit by themselves anymore and look at their own lives, their decisions, and how they feed their bodies, spirits, and minds. In reality, most people are afraid to be alone. Nobody has that ability anymore because we have been trained to rely on things other than ourselves. When I came to that realization, I also came to these. Maybe my life is terrible, but everyone is going through their own crap, so I'm not special. Maybe my life is hard, and so is everyone else's, and perhaps I am unlucky; everyone feels that way here and there. Although there is nothing extraordinarily bad about my life, I choose to perceive the idea that I am destined to fail, and you know what? That mindset led to my and potentially your demise if you share those feelings. I realized I was no different; I would point the finger at everything other than myself. I never took the time just to sit alone and process what I may be doing to create this life I'm experiencing. When I began to do that, not only did every action I took become so much more intentional, I realized that I was beyond grateful for even the little things in my life.

The more I allowed myself to be alone without distraction, the more I realized how amazing my life was. When I began to be grateful for even the little, not-so-cool things in my life, everything about me became more positive. I began to appreciate that I had the OPPORTUNITY to wake up today, that I had the OPPORTUNITY to go to class today, that I had the OPPORTUNITY to fail today because, guess what? Some people don't get that opportunity. Some people won't wake up tomorrow, that person could be you, and you're telling me that you're going to sit here and cry about the long day you've had? BE GRATEFUL FOR IT! It might've been rough, but you were alive today! You got to experience this beautiful gift we call life; you had the chance to become better today, which will create a better tomorrow. Looking at life like that, you begin to see that it isn't all that bad; it's pretty amazing.

What I challenge you with today is to take a break from the things that will instantly gratify you and spend time alone with yourself. Honestly evaluate your life and see what you could do to improve it; quite often it's as simple as being grateful. Maybe life has been rough for you the last few weeks, months, and years, and I won't discredit that, but be thankful for the crap. You can't have the light without the dark; you can't have good without bad; you can't have the beautiful without the ugly. Isaiah 60:22 says: "When the time is right, I, the Lord, will make it happen." God has not abandoned you and never will; He may have allowed these challenging times, but it's all with good reason. He knows the beauty on the other side. You have to trust Him. So be grateful for whatever season of life you're in; I promise you won't regret it.

I hope today that you find time to be with yourself and God. Truly search out who you are and look at the decisions you've been making. I pray that you begin to be grateful for every part of your life; it will drastically change who you are. You are worth it; you are loved.

Trevor Crowder

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