"thank you for being you"

I have a friend who has captured the great gift of appreciation. Today he suggested that I may get tired of hearing about his gratitude. I asked him, "Why in the world would I get tired of that?" His answer included something about being redundant.

I've been thinking about that today. Why is it that gratitude can seem redundant? Is it because we're not used to hearing appreciation and thanks? Are we uncomfortable with sincere praise?

I have a book, well several, about gratitude. This one is called Attitudes of Gratitude: How to Give and Receive Joy Everyday of Your Life. According to its author, a traditional greeting of the Seneca is, "Thank you for being you." Before I continue with my monologue about gratitude, I must address the topic of being. To me, being has nothing to do with performance, achievement, the world's definition of success, or even habits and actions. To me, being has everything to do with our divine nature as children of God--that is something we have no control over, cannot change, nor can anyone else affect or influence that divine spark which is within and encompasses us. So, when I read, "thank you for being you," what I want it to mean is: I appreciate that you are a son or daughter of God, regardless of what you do for work, choose to do with your free time, where you come from or where you are going. I appreciate that God has placed you in my life for a purpose.

C.S. Lewis wrote, "It seems to me that we often, almost sulkily, reject the good that God offers us because, at the moment, we expected some other good." I cannot ignore the reminders that God is so Good! As I have been forced to slow down, due to unemployment and having to wait for paperwork to come through, I have had a lot of time to think. I don't want to reject the goodness of God! I think that gratitude is the best way to prevent such rejections. I like this quote:

"Beginning to tune into even the minutest feelings of gratitude softens us. If we begin to acknowledge these moments and cherish them, then no matter how fleeting and tiny this good heart may seem, it will gradually, at its own speed, expand."

Isn't that the truth about anything? Starting out with the mere acknowledgment of the small things and as we cherish them, in due time, they indeed expand. I had a therapist who compared love with faith. After that session, I went and read my favorite scriptural passages about faith and replaced the word with love. Maybe it would work with gratitude as well? From the Bible Dictionary in the LDS standard works: "Gratitude is a principle of action and of power"--"All true gratitude must be based on correct knowledge or it cannot produce the desired results"--"...true gratitude always moves its possessor to some kind of physical and mental action"--"A lack of gratitude leads one to despair..."--"Although gratitude is a gift, it must be cultured and sought after until it grows from a tiny seed to a tree."

Hmm...what do you think? Does it fit?

Either way. Thank you for being you!

2 comments:

DESTINY said...

hey- we are going to dinner on wed. in af- we would love to see you!

Kit said...

mmmm. Good words to read as I tune in to your lovely and thoughtful heart this late, rainy night. I am glad YOU are in MY life, Charity!