It is November, and for many of us during this month, we begin to reflect on the year in search of the things we are most grateful for.
Gratitude is all about appreciation. To be appreciative, you must recognize the value of what is worthy of your admiration. Yes, your admiration and your admiration only. We all live different experiences, which is why we all appreciate, admire, and feel gratitude towards things differently. I have walked down many roads in my life, and my journey has not contained the same paths as yours. Even if we did follow the same route, what we noticed, the shoes we wore, even our physical and mental health were uniquely different.
Finding gratitude can be the easiest and the most difficult thing we do as humans. It is a space of mixed emotions from joy and fulfillment to pain and sorrow. This is because, we recognize that something we may be grateful for, someone else does not or will not ever have, or even worse, they were negatively impacted from the benefit we received. We also recognize that there are things going on in the world around us that don’t feel good. This creates guilt within us for having the privilege to admire and appreciate the things in our lives. On the flip side, in our darkest hours, we can choose to find gratitude and appreciate what is taking place in our lives.
Gratitude is a complicated feeling and emotion, that opens us to the beauty of empathy and kindness. Studies have shown that expressing gratitude changes your attitude. Showing gratitude shifts your perspective and can make your day brighter.
Have you ever been in the drive thru at Dunkin or Starbucks, you give your order, you get up to the window to pay only to find out the car in front of you paid for your order. How did you feel? What did you do next? I know that person made my day and put a smile on my face. The gratitude I had for them, I passed to the car behind me and paid for their order hoping I too could make their day a little better.
During this season of reflection take a few minutes to replay your journey, give appreciation to the things that you are grateful for, and show kindness and grace to yourselves and others.