I have thought about gratitude a lot recently because to me it seems like we all take many things for granted and sometimes we don’t even realize it. Ask yourself this question how often do you show gratitude? If your honest with yourself the answer will probably go something like this “not as often as I should be”. We all take things for granted at times like just waking up in the morning & breathing, walking, working, talking, seeing things with our eyes, sounds so simple to us but to people who can’t do these things it is something they would be grateful to have.
I posed this question on our group page and a wife of a recovering alcoholic said she asked herself that question and said it really made her think that besides the everyday basic things you say thank you for do you remember the other things? Such as your spouse listening to you when you are stressed. Your spouse working hard at say recovering from an addiction problem. What about your spouse doing things to make you happy whatever that may be? How often do we look at our spouses and praise them simply for who they are as a person? How often do we really look into their souls? This is why people have the ability to fall in love over and over again because when you take the time to look beyond just the person standing before you and look deep inside of them and see all the things that make them unique and special. The quirky things you smile at, the dumb things you laugh at, even the things that make you angry. When you allow your heart to feel you don’t need eyes to see anything.
Gratitude is about being thankful but it is also so much more. It is about the willingness to show appreciation and return kindness especially to our loved ones. I say “especially” because I believe that we show the least gratitude for our spouses. Because we are so close and you come to “expect” things. I realized this in myself as well, we fall into routines and don’t think anything of it. Once my husband got into recovery I work at expressing my gratitude more. I am so proud of him and he needs to hear that from me often. Here is the hard part for people…….remembering what you have to be grateful for when things are not going good. It is easy to be thankful during the great times but harder to remember that during the bad but I believe it is so important during the storm. So in the heat of an argument I will stop take a breath center myself speak calmly and start expressing things we both need to remember to be grateful for. It does help at times to bring a sense of peace.
Today I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and work on showing and expressing more gratitude towards your spouse. Of course you don’t need to be married to do this. Can you all relate to this in some ways? What are some ways you could show your gratitude more? In what ways do you show your gratitude now? My challenge is find ways in your own life where you could implement the expression of gratitude more often. Do you have a spouse that is the glue of the family and takes care of most everything? Sometimes instead of just a “thank you” personalize it to “thank you for taking such good care of our family I am amazed at all you do”. See that makes it personal. It makes us feel good deep down in our souls to hear how wonderful we are in the eyes of someone else. However you don’t need someone else to tell you these things because you can give yourself gratitude and you should. We need to stop beating ourselves up over the things we feel we fall short on instead find the positive in the negative and if you do it everyday your life becomes full of consistent gratitude that is given and received.
I would like you all to try this……..make a daily gratitude journal and make two columns. In the first one write down three things that you are grateful for each day even something as simple as “today I am breathing”. Next column I want you to write two ways that you gave gratitude for that day, one to anyone else in your life (if married concentrate on your spouse) and the second for yourself! Each week reflect back on what you have written. I bet you will begin to see a pattern and you will even learn where some of your changes need to occur. Like if you wrote “When we argue my anger gets out of control but this time I really listened to what he/she had to say and there wasn’t a need for me to become angry” the lesson in that is you realize you can get volatile so if you diffuse the situation it doesn’t escalate and the outcome is a pleasant one. See how this can work in a positive way. Okay what are you waiting for let’s get our GRATITUDE on for today!
Wishing you Peace & Serenity……..Harmony