Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Gratitude is contagious
There's a notebook that sits at the end of my bed. Not really a journal, but it's a book for thoughts and feelings of gratitude. Bad days are not included in it, nor are negative feelings (except that once, and that was forgiven). The two of us share the good things and the kindness we've received, the silly moments we've enjoyed as we document the memories of things for which we are grateful.
You'll find entries like:
-I am infinitely grateful for the coffee you make in the morning
-Gratitude overflows for your kind text messages
-I am grateful for that hug you gave me
-My day was awesome because my son bought me breakfast and I'm so grateful for his kindness
-Sara made me laugh when I was sad and it deserves every ounce of my gratitude
Why do we write about this? Because I really think we forget about the good things in our lives as we let ourselves be overwhelmed by the bad, the sad and the chaotic. I started this year off by giving myself a task - be grateful. Every day. Show your gratitude. Keith joined in immediately and has enjoyed it as much as I do.
Guess what else happened? I'm happier than I've ever been. It took patience and practice and thoughtfulness to pick out the good things in my often topsy-turvy world. But in the past 4 months, I've become a bit of an expert in gratitude, at least in my own. All thoughts entered here must be positive - therefore, the percentage of positive in my life has increased exponentially. It's so much easier to ignore the bad stuff when the good stuff stares you in the face.
Our book is almost full. I like to flip through it and look at the days past, see what made me feel grateful - and see the gratitude that it shows me for who we are, what we have, where we're going. Oh, and it's nice to feel appreciated - there's rarely a day when I'm not on his list.
When was the last time you showed gratitude? Does your partner know how good it feels when you get something you need from them? You don't have to write a book, but you do owe it to yourself to show gratitude. The change it will make is rather amazing.
Today, I'm grateful for a ride to work so I could gather my thoughts, a coffee left by my sink, the sharing of a difficult situation that makes me feel important and included, a compliment that made me feel special.
What are you grateful for today?