If you asked a thousand different people what it means to be “grateful”…..
” you would get a thousand different responses”.
Echos of all kinds of phrases, references, and descriptions would surface based on the background of the person who is asked. Of course – there would be no right or wrong answer. Oops, am I losing you already? Stay with me.
Webster describes “gratefulness” as a feeling or showing of kindness. To be thankful.
Life can sometimes sneak up, take us by surprise, landing us in unchartered territory. Oftentimes the landing is not exactly the plan we had in mind. Usually finding ourself in a whirlwind of the ” what if’s ” and ” what nows “. This is the launching pad of something new, something better, usually disguised by the bewilderment of confusion.
Here are some pathways to gratefulness;
* organize your possessions to recognize your blessings
* focus on other people not on yourself, you will soon find your issues puny
* get outside in the fresh air and exercise your body, releases endorphins in the brain
* write down a list of all the (free things) in your life that make you happy
* stand on the shore and thank God for telling the ocean where to stop
There is a bible verse that has always stood out in my memory. Not because it was my favorite or a really popular one, but I believe it was a verse of relevance for my specific life since it keeps reappearing randomly. I ran across it in my journal a few weeks ago.
Luke 16:10 “if you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large things”.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to give yourself to people who are grateful? To do things for these people because it means so much to them. It is a natural process to freely give without any expectation of any thing returned.
I remember the first time I gave someone something as a complete random act of kindness. It was such an amazing feeling that I repeated it many times with others. I will share this story so you can see that the thing I gave was insignificant, but the act itself was gratitude.
I had this huge black silver onyx ring that I wore on my middle finger on my right hand that I loved. It was chunky and matched everything I wore. It was just a perfect daily fit. I was working that day and an associate in that particular place had often complimented me on the ring. No matter how many times I saw this person she always mentioned the ring. So as she normally did, she approached me that morning and said, God, I love that ring”. I said to her, “it’s yours”. I want you to have it and enjoy it. The look on her face was priceless and it totally blessed me to see her receive this ring. You would have thought I gave her a diamond ring. She was oozing gratefulness. We still talk about it on occasion.
The point of the story is to know that to see gratefulness you must learn to be grateful. Gratitude is becoming and long-enduring. It comes in many forms. You can show it today on someone with little effort. Try telling a family member how much you appreciate them or how thankful you are that they are a responsible person. Or tell a friend how much you value their friendship or tell a coach how thankful you are for all they taught you. Look around you and count your blessings and it will lead you to many opportunities to be grateful.
The flip side of gratefulness is ugly and entitlement. Everyone knows someone like this who we try to avoid. These people are takers and always asking to receive, but never willing to invest. I say this to create sensitive to the behavior, not to criticize it.
My experiences with gratitude are profound and memorable for me. I remember these acts as times that I made someone else a little happier and me a little closer to the person I long to be.
Tell me about a time that you were grateful.