I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to be more intentional in expressing gratitude.
I say thank you at the appropriate moments. I feel like that’s even been one of my more successful parenting ventures because thank you has been among the first words learned, spoken, and used correctly by all of my kids.
But there’s a difference between saying thank you and truly being grateful.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately on how shifting your mindset can shift your reality. In all my reading there is one thing that has really stood out to me and that is how crucial gratitude is to that shift. Being truly grateful for everything you have opens up opportunities for you to receive more.
I decided to do an experiment and really stop and think about why I was grateful for things instead of just saying thank you. I also decided that I would intentionally look for things to be grateful for in difficult moments rather than just waiting until it passed to be grateful that it was over.
Sometimes it was simple to be grateful. When my birthday came around and the well wishes started to collect on my Facebook wall I did a google search for thank you images and grabbed a handful to use to say thank you. Because I decided to find a different image for each person there were multiple visits to google to find more images to use throughout the day. As I posted each thank you I would think about that person and the love I was sending along to them. I would think of why I was grateful to have them as part of my life. I even thought of how grateful I was for the opportunity to spend almost a whole day being grateful. It was good practice.
Other moments were much more difficult. When my husband came home from work one day and told me about the changes his employer was making that would impact him directly there was definitely a deeper search for something to be grateful for. First, it was the simple fact that he still had a job at all. I also thought it could be an opportunity for him to learn new things and get some new experience. That didn’t turn out to be the case, unfortunately. In the end, it turned out that moment became a catalyst for us. I think we both shifted our thinking quite a bit and have started to focus more on what we really want and what we need to do to get it. I can definitely say that while that change has brought about some difficulties for us, it has also strengthened our resolve and refocused us on what is important, and for that I truly am grateful.
My conclusion: Being grateful beyond expression is more powerful than a dutiful recitation of the words, “Thank you.”
Since I’ve started my little experiment I’ve seen a profound shift in my thinking overall. I am a happier and hopefully kinder person. I’ve seen a shift in how I act and react towards the people I come in contact with. I’ve seen the blessings that can come from being truly grateful.
This is not a skill I’ve mastered yet. I still have to make a conscious decision to be grateful and frequently refocus my thoughts. I’m working on a habit of gratitude so that my first thought is to be grateful in every situation. I’m working to more fully express my gratitude both to the people around me and to my Father in Heaven who is the creator of all the things I have to be grateful for.
I am grateful beyond expression.
What are you grateful for?