The kind of gratitude so big you can feel it almost swallow you whole into a cavernous darkness only to shoot you back out into the light. It almost hurts. It almost feels as though you will crumble. From gratitude. After years of practice, it's present at all times. Even when the outlook is bleak or you are at your wits end, it is there. It compels you to GET IT OUT. Like a demon, only a really likable badass demon. It is unapologetic gratitude.
Sometimes it is incredibly wide and other times it is impossibly small. But on the whole, it is absolutely life changing.
It is there during the entire month of November, and yet it is there the rest of the year as well.
It can grate on folks, this gratitude that you have. Isn't it funny that grate and gratitude are similar words? But it doesn't really concern them. What you are grateful for doesn't impact anyone else in the least. It's not a competition. It's not taking anything away from anyone else if you are grateful. All you are responsible for is yourself. People's reactions are their own business. That's a fact, jack.
But you still have it. You still express it. You still share it with wonder and awe because you must. Because you have never in all your life been so awestruck by the everyday.
People who have lost it all or have lived through hell on earth yet are still here (LIKE A BEAUTIFUL INDESTRUCTIBLE COCKROACH) to tell the tale tend to have enormous gratitude for things that most wouldn't think to notice, let alone express.
There's room for all of us. Those who express it every day and those who do concentrated doses each November.
My Sponsor in my 12-step program told me to make a gratitude list every night before I go to bed. I have been doing that for 13 years. Sometimes big, sometimes small. Sometimes really terrible shit that goes down and I wonder how in the world this will ever come around and sometimes it doesn't, but it's still on the damn list. Because I need to be deeply grateful for the good and the bad. Quite often the same things go on that list day after day, but you can bet I don't ever take them for granted. I will do as my sponsor did and pass this tool along to my children. It is so simple, yet so profound.
Practicing unapologetic gratitude helps me remain in the moment. No "just wait untils" no "you'll miss this someday" because you are there. Fully present. Practicing unapologetic gratitude for every step along the way.
It's my version of prayer. I've found a religion in gratitude. It's a close as I have because I don't do any other religion. It's my solace and my salvation. Being thankful to the universe for all I have been given. It works. It absolutely works.
For when I am grateful, I am not selfish. When I am grateful, I am in a moment that will never strike again. When I am grateful, my heart is full and heavy. When I am grateful, a tear and a smile usually co-exist. When I am grateful, there is little room for doubt. When I am grateful, even if I am utterly sad or wounded, it lessens that pain. When I am grateful, there is certainty. When I am grateful, it feels safe to be vulnerable. When I am grateful, I am and have more than enough. I have everything I could ever need and everything is as it should be.
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