Thanksgiving Thoughts: Gratitude is an Action
It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada &, while I'm not living in Canada anymore, I decided to bring the holiday to Australia with me. This year, Sean & I are having his family over. I'll be making a big dinner, & we'll all be eating too much & drinking too much wine. We'll also be sitting around the dinner table & talking about all of the things that we are thankful for.
Gratitude is More Than Words
In thinking about the things that I am most thankful for, I started thinking about Gratitude. I started thinking about how easy it is to feel Gratitude. I feel grateful for so many things. I'm grateful for my standard of living. I am grateful for who I am as a person & for the circumstances that helped build me. I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had in life. More than anything, however, I am grateful for the people that I have in my life. I am grateful for my family & friends.
I am very fortunate to have been blessed with great people in my life. Personally, I think they're all the BEST people in the world.
Thinking about my family & friends, & feeling my heart overflow with Gratitude, I found myself wondering, do these people know how grateful I am to have them in my life? Do I show them Gratitude each day? Do my actions match the words that I say?
I wonder because, as easy as it is to feel Gratitude & to say you're grateful, living Gratitude is different. Living Gratitude is action & actions are distinctly more important & impactful than words.
Being Grateful Rather Than Feeling Grateful
As I've already mentioned, I feel grateful for so many things. Feeling grateful, however, isn't enough for me - it isn't who I want to be. Feelings are on the inside. They are something felt by me. For my Gratitude to be authentic, I want my feelings to inspire my actions & my actions to thereby inspire a feeling of being appreciated in the people around me.
So, how do I do this?
I think that being grateful, is something you express through the nourishment & the nurture that you pour into your relationships. I believe that a big part of nurturing a relationship you are truly grateful for involves putting the other person first. I believe that nourishing a relationship is done through careful consideration of the other person's feelings, wants & desires. I believe that true Gratitude is shown in the way in which you contribute to the lives around you without taking anything back.
Gratitude Without Gifts
I don't believe gifts are what Gratitude is all about. Gifts are too easy. Gifts are an exchange of money for the pleasure of having people in my life. Gifts do not negate the importance of action.
Of course, this doesn't mean that thoughtful gifts shouldn't be given. I just want to ensure that, whether I give gifts or not, my actions are still lifting others up & that, in everything that I do, I express Gratitude for the people around me.
"Feeling Gratitude & not giving it is like wrapping a present & not giving it" ~William Arthur Ward
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - BRITTEN THOMPSON
Who is Britten? She's a reticent little beast born in the wilds of Northern Alberta to a foul-mouthed, French-Canadian father & an angry, stiff-upper-lipped mother. Britten is, almost always, wild-haired & poorly dressed. She recently left the beautiful & untamed chill of Canada for the blistering & somewhat oppressive heat of Australia. Her list of pastimes is short & includes reading, writing, petting cats, overeating & alphabetizing things. She's a fan of Windex on Facebook because who doesn't want a streak free shine? She dreams of one day writing a super-awesome novel that affords her & her partner a comfortable lifestyle, a large property, a few horses & the means with which to foster children in need...or just becoming a red panda.
When Britten isn't writing, reading, or organizing things in her home, she can be found cuddling with her boyfriend, arguing about why Rajon Rondo is the best point guard in the history of ever, browsing Gumtree for a future cat or kitten, or contemplating days gone by, the passage of time & how ridiculous it is that humans have yet to evolve enough to grow a third set of teeth.