November 22, 2012 by blogmasterjdeam
Today’s blog has to be about gratitude. The book Attitudes of Gratitude by M. J. Ryan, started me on my journey nearly thirteen years ago. Gratitude is one of those tricky things: if you don’t feel you deserve something, you can’t express gratitude. That, of course, doesn’t consider people who just have bad manners.
For me, for too long, I didn’t believe I deserved. Not deserving goes along with not being enough, which goes along with complaining, criticizing, judging, drama, anger … you know the drill.
But if we can start from the end point of gratitude, and work our way back, I believe we can fill our lives with so much gratitude, there is no room for those negative traits.
Here is one of my favorite quotes about gratitude:
“Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there’s always something we could be grateful for.”
~ Barry Neil Kaufman
Surely you’ve felt this too. Like when you thank the bagger at the grocery store for bagging your groceries so that you didn’t have to. This is unexpected gratitude that brings you both happiness. Or when you fix a holiday meal, knowing how much work is involved, but doing so just for the love of it, not for any accolades that may or may not follow. Giving without expectation is a way of expressing gratitude.
As George Harrison said (and I paraphrase:) we all need to be doing something while we’re here (on earth.) You might as well enjoy it.
I have stopped doing things out of obligation because it causes me to feel resentment. If I can’t get around the feeling of resentment, it is better that I not do whatever it is I’ve been asked to do, or think I am required to do. To cook a meal with anger in your heart, poisons the food. My intention needs to come from a place of love, and if it can’t, I need to not do the act.
So this Thanksgiving, when I am cooking, serving, cleaning, it will be a newly minted me doing so. I have shopped with love in my heart. I will iron the tablecloth and napkins, create a centerpiece for the table, and bring beauty to the day. It is my way of saying thank you for this amazing life I’ve had the privilege to live.
I keep this quote in my wallet:
“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”
~ Mary Jean Irion (from Attitudes of Gratitude, M.J. Ryan)
Yours with heartfelt gratitude, Chris