A Reflection on Gratitude

Feb 17, 2016

In this very month that I'm hosting a gratitude challenge in the Soulwoman Sanctuary, I have been held accountable by someone close to me for being ungrateful. Once I got past my initial indignation, I reflected deeply.

How is it that someone who knows me very well can perceive me to be ungrateful when I know how much gratitude I have in my heart? I've been keeping a gratitude journal for years and I write thank you notes to the Universe all the time. I thank Life constantly for real and imagined blessings. In fact, I have a little mantra that's never far from my lips: "Thank you, God, thank you, Universe, thank you all the angels for (whatever)," whenever (whatever makes me happy) shows up in my life.

But maybe, just maybe, I'm not expressing my gratitude with enough sincerity and conviction to the (gasp!) people in my life. I'm not talking about saying thank you when someone passes you the salt, or thank you when someone does you a favour or presents you with a gift. There is the common courtesy of thank yous for things people do for us that we don't even think about, and then there is a deeper kind of gratitude that encompasses an understanding of the intent behind the act.

Case in point: I'm not an enthusiastic cook. Cooking is simply not one of my gifts. Yet I cook most days for my family and most days everyone thanks me  for dinner at the end of the meal, whether the food was edible or not. For me, those thank yous go in the category of common courtesy. I appreciate the sentiment but I know it is taken for granted that food will appear on the table at dinner time, whether I'm super busy, or tired, or have a headache, or simply don't feel like cooking... usually, it simply gets done. Yet nobody's ever sat me down, looked me in the eyes, and said, "Mia, I know you don't like cooking, and I know your intention for cooking is to care for our family, and I appreciate the valuable contribution that you're making to the household by doing something day in and day out that serves your family. I appreciate that it's one way that you're showing your love for us all."

See the difference?

Turning it around...

I have to wonder about the things that I take for granted that my loved ones are doing day in and day out for me and our family.

I have to ask myself what support I'm given that I reward with a perfunctory thank you because I don't take the time to search for the true intention behind the act.

I have to try and remember the last time I thanked my father, mother, sister, daughter, life partner, friend, colleague or online acquaintance, not so much for what they do, but for how they show up in my life.

The thing is, the people around you can't read your mind. In your heart of hearts, you may very well be the most grateful person on the face of the planet, but if you don't speak your gratitude out loud to the people who share your life, you're falling short of the mark.

I don't believe it's a coincidence that the Universe held up a mirror to my own gratitude practice this month ~ and as much as it hurt at the time, it served me well.

Life is good.

Please take a moment to leave a comment about who you'd like to thank out loud in the coming days.

Let’s create miracles together!

Reconnect with your body and soul in the Soulwoman Circles.


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