Gratitude, Is It Just a Word?
Initially, you may think that gratitude is just another word, a descriptive word that can describe a feeling we sometimes experience. One of the dictionaries I looked at explained its meaning as being pleased or thankful when someone has done something for you, and links it to receiving a kindness.
So, on the surface, it would seem that gratitude IS just a word, something happens that moves you to say thank you. Is it that simple?
No, it is so much more. Gratitude goes so much deeper…
Gratitude IS a feeling, one that centres from our emotional reaction to something we experience. On a deeper level it incites our memories, and is a deeply personal experience that ebbs and flows throughout our lives. Gratitude is a powerful feeling that takes on a life of its own; it grows exponentially and gathers momentum as you encounter and move through each experience, and with varying degrees.
Individually, we may react differently when we receive flowers or a gift, or when someone acts kindly towards us, some of us may be uncomfortable or embarrassed and mask our deeper feelings, in effect to control them, and in turn we may then appear cold and unfeeling, even ungrateful. Some of us may be more deeply moved, whilst others may have experienced the same level of emotion many times, and so the reaction is more matter of fact and more accepting, and so our demeanour is one of calm and appears less emotional.
…but let’s look a little deeper.
Gratitude is that in-depth soul reaching feeling that wells up from deep within. It is deep rooted and indelible, it kisses the heart and can etch its mark so deeply and entwine beautifully with our thoughts, and with our help can grow so powerfully that it help change our lives in wonderful ways.
With practise, gratitude can become one of the wonderful tools of self-love and self-care, and when used as part of our regular or daily morning or night-time routines, can elevate our lives and help us live a fulfilled and happy life.
Try thinking about something that you a happy to have in your life, your family, your children, your friends. Then go a little deeper….Think about what you love about your day. Did the weather make you feel good? Did you enjoy eating something? Did you laugh, or smile, hold someones hand? Did you hug someone today, or did they hug you? Did you enjoy sitting down, doing nothing, just relaxing? Was your bath particularly soothing today? How did it feel kicking off you shoes when you got home at the end of the day?
All these things, the effects on our senses, and the appreciation we feel in any given moment are all the things we can be grateful for. Gratitude, its like being home, its that deep sense of belonging that you feel when you return after a long trip, that deep loving sigh when you turn the key and then fall onto the sofa, and you think, say, and feel how good it is to be home. That’s gratitude
“It was like coming home… Only to no home I’d ever been to before,” Sam Baldwin, Sleepless in Seattle
Make it a conscious habit to pay attention to what feels good throughout your day, the people, their behaviour and the effect it has on you, the food you eat, the drinks you have, the company you keep, what you see around you, at home, at work, on your journey, in your car, the aromas in the supermarket, the sight of the flowers as you enter. Focus on what feels good, on what makes you happy, and say to yourself or aloud, thank you for ……… If you do this every day, as much as you can, after a short time, you will begin to notice more of what you like and love around you. Good things, and good feelings will grow….
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