I asked my Facebook friends today what I should blog about. My friend Jan suggested “gratitude” so I thought I’d give it a go.
Here’s why I chose her answer first:
1) Jan has recently had back surgery – one of MANY she has had in the last couple of years – and yet her first response is always “gratitude”.
2) I don’t do as well as Jan with this word and I think she’s right – I need to explore it.
My first response is not always gratitude, but I am learning. Because of low self-esteem and other body issues I can’t even say a simple “Thank you” if someone compliments me. I usually say “oh, this old thing” or some other such put-off. Just last night a friend told me I looked nice with my hair back and I said “Oh, I just am trying to keep it off my face.” Why couldn’t I just say “Thanks”?
My husband has noticed how I deflect compliments and he has often said to me “Just take the compliment!” He spotlighted that for me and I realized I need to do it more.
My husband is also someone whom I am very grateful for and have a lot of gratitude for him. He has helped me through so many of my struggles with pain, body and weight issues. I remember at the beginning of our marriage I would ask him to do something, he would willingly oblige, and then I wouldn’t say “Thank you”. He was hurt. And he called me on it. He told me he felt like I wasn’t grateful – but it just was something I didn’t think to do. They were such minor things, but yet if he hadn’t been there to help me do them I would have it all on my shoulders. Now I try very hard to tell him thanks. Not only does it remind me how blessed I am to have him as a helpmate, it also makes him feel of value and strengthens our marriage in the process.
I have also begun to say little “thank you”s in my head to God when things go right or I avoid something that could have been devastating. For instance: when I get an answer to prayer – for me or someone else – even if it’s a small one I say “Thanks God” in my head.
It’s important to express gratitude. Even for the little things. It helps us (or at least it helps me) to be in that frame of mind all the time. When you start thanking people, and God, for even the little things you begin to see all that you should be thankful for in life.
Which reminds me: Thanks for reading.