Sunday, July 12, 2009

An Attitude of Gratitude

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John F. Kennedy

I have never fully gotten what gratitude meant until recently. Some definitions for gratitude include:

  • A feeling of thankfulness and appreciation
  • A positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive
  • A state of being grateful
  • An appreciative awareness and thankfulness, as for kindness shown or something received.

For me gratitude is loving, living, giving and being thankful for everything that is put into my life – the good and the bad. The bad, the painful and the sad are all just things to help us along our way and journey in this lifetime. They allow us to make a choice – to choose to live in victim or to step up and live to our full potential, to strive and reach for and beyond our wildest dreams. And the good, well, that is obvious…but the good things allow us to celebrate, to live in joy, to have fun, to dance, twirl, swirl and acknowledge all the beauty and abundance around us. The good things propel us forward and remind us in the bad times of what to keep believing in and striving for. Both the good and the bad remind us of who we are, what our boundaries are and how to keep moving forward in faith, patience and trust.

I’ve had a lot of pain in my life, a lot of heart ache. But haven’t we all? For a long time, I chose to feel sorry for myself, to be resentful for all the pain and hurt. Those were dark, angry, resentful and sick years. Now I am healthy and happy – happier than I’ve ever been. I am grateful for everything.

Gratitude is being thankful for the people who hurt me and those who disappointed me for those were gifts to help me grow, change and choose to live in love, not fear. They taught me what I want in life, how to set my boundaries, how to stand up for myself and certainly what I don’t want. Gratitude is being grateful for the people who believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself and continued to remind me of my own greatness. Gratitude is opening my heart and allowing myself to love again and trust again after being wounded, yet knowing that it is all possible. Gratitude is loving others when they don’t love themselves. Gratitude is loving myself purely, simply and honestly.

What does gratitude mean to you? What are you grateful for? How can you choose to live in gratitude today – and every day? Thank you for being in my life and supporting me in the ways that you do!

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