Gratitude is not just something that the world tells you to feel after the pumpkins are carved. It is an obligation to yourself, an obligation to respond to life around you. It is an answer to change, a bow to the beauty around you.
There are two steps to gratitude: seeing and acknowledging. Many people walk through this world seeing and looking and scanning. They see and see, but they never respond. They see sadness or fear or the blooming roses by their doorstep and they think yep that’s how the world is and they keep on going. When your days move quickly and you get stuck in your automatic motions, it’s easy to stop acknowledging. You see something wrong or you see something right and you just keep moving.
Here’s the thing, though. Sadness or fear or the blooming roses by your doorstep all must be acknowledged. Why? Because without recognizing the good, how will we recognize the bad? Gratitude is just as essential as carelessness. By your recognition, you become a part of this world. You decide that you have a say. You claim yourself as the someone who is doing the recognizing, and by doing that, you are saying yes to yourself.
Through gratitude, through claiming myself, I’ve learned how I want to be loved, how I don’t want to be loved, what I like most about winter, why I like tea so much (the warmth, the smell, it’s all so cozy), when I like to go sleep, where I like to practice yoga, how to read on a moving train (it’s all about focus), why I love to cartwheel (feeling free and full). I’ve learned what I don’t feel grateful for, and in turn, I’ve learned what I do feel grateful for. It all works together in one beautiful yin and yang.
One of my coworkers writes down three things she is grateful for in her journal every night before she goes to bed. By doing this, she falls asleep thankful instead of frustrated. I love doing this. It reminds me that even if a day goes badly there can always be three things to like about it. Things to teach you. Things to challenge you. Things to remind you why you are here.
By Fae Leslie Hoffman; All Rights Reserved @2018