Gratitude

 

gratitude

[grat-i-tood, -tyood] 
noun
1. the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful
Synonyms
thanks, thankfulness, appreciation, gratefulness
Why do we find it hard to focus on the positive?
Why is it difficult to identify what we should be giving thanks for?
Why does it feel unnatural to say thank you?
Just in time for Thanksgiving, and on such a special day like today, I realize I can exercise my gratitude muscle just as much as the next person.
I woke up today, worried that what I had in store for my daughter on her 11th birthday would not satisfy her expectation, that she would feel a void for what she hadn’t received, that she would be somehow broken by not receiving all that she deserves on a day like today.
I took a few deep breaths, to soothe my aching heart for my shortcomings. As I closed my eyes, I pleaded with the thoughts running through my mind, to let this weary topic rest.

When my eyes opened once again, they opened to the shadow of my daughter creeping through the doorway of my room, with the lights of the hallway emblazoning her silhouette.

She jumped in my bed and crawled under the sheets, her body warm from a long night’s rest. She whispered in my ear “Good morning, mommy.” I could barely utter this greeting back to her, with the tears welding up in my eyes. In that fraction of a second, I had been slammed with the heaviness of the Universe ripping my chest open. The rawness of my reality too foolish to define. My heart sang with the beautiful melody of Chopin’s Complete Nocturne.

It was in this moment, I realized, how grateful I was to see this day, to recognize her figure walk through my doorway, to hear the love in her voice and to feel the glow of her presence.

 To share this day with her is more than I could ever ask for.

Here I was concerned about not being able to lasso the Moon in for her to hold, or to catalog all the stars in our sky for her alone to concede.

 Could she understand the relevance of this moment?

Children, surprisingly enough, are capable of so much more than we could ever hope to be. I never knew unconditional love until I met my daughter. She accepts me as I am, here and now. She has shown me what true gratitude is.

Gratitude is natural to children. We are born with the innate ability to feel thankful. Over time, we forget, because we’re shooting so high! We don’t realize how many blessings we’re overlooking on our way to the stars. Luckily, enough, gratitude is a muscle, and can be strengthened. How?

 Start by giving thanks for 3 small things in your life, every morning. Don’t you dare get out of bed before you do so! Do this for the next 30 days, and write me off completely, if you’re life doesn’t change for the better.

You don’t have to look too far, You can start by giving thanks for the comfort your bed provides when you wake, or the way the sun peeks through your window in the morning. One of my favorite things to give thanks for is the smell of my daughters hair when she nestles her head on my chest. Among the seemingly strangest things I’ve given thanks for are the words I’ve shared with my favorite pen, finding mini post-it’s in an old book, and the unfavorable taste of the last cold sip of Cuban coffee in my cup.

So, this Thanksgiving, make it worth while, forget all the fluff and get down to what truly brings purpose to this moment with your loved ones, whether they be kin, furry, or of the plant species.  Enjoy their presence with all the pleasant and unpleasantness that bubbles up within you. There will come a day when you’ll miss that twinge within your being, a day you’ll look around and find that no one is left to accompany you. Even solitude has a time and place, so don’t forget that we are all temporary and none of this truly matters unless you will it so.

Thank you for passing through, I hope it was worth your while.

 Here are few references, if you feel inclined to continue reading on gratitude:

Enjoy!

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