“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
I’ve always been taught to be thankful for everything in my life. But I’ve never practiced gratitude until I knew how important it was to not only be thankful but also be grateful for those things. For many gratitude is difficult because life can sometimes be perceived as difficult. Beyond the feeling of deprivation and depression, there are many circumstances that make it hard to express gratitude because we are slaves to our feelings and circumstances.
But hard doesn’t mean impossible. When life becomes too difficult, practice “internal gratitude”- giving thanks privately by being grateful for the people in your life, family, friends, and colleagues with whom you may share a common ground. Then move on to “exterior gratitude” – expressing public gratitude which involves openly being thankful to those people in your life. It can be as simple as thanking your spouse for mowing the lawn, thanking the kids for doing the dishes, or thanking the crab driver for getting you to your destination safely.
Having said all that, don’t forget to be grateful for those things deemed useless. The fragrance of a rose, the sunshine after the rain or the rain itself for that matter, a song that reminds you of someone who is no longer with you……For me, I’m always grateful for my grandmother’s cooking lessons, for long walks, and for friendships that have stood the test of time and temper. All of these soft, seemingly useless things can invoke the feeling of gratitude because they bring happiness.
The key is to not only express gratitude when you feel good but also when life becomes difficult and you feel that you have nothing to be grateful for. Don’t be a slave to your feelings or circumstance, rebel against those emotions that hold you back from your bliss.
©Etta D. Richards