Gratitude is an Attitude
By Shannon Hames
I was raised in the south and showing respect and appreciation was a top priority in my house. If someone did something for you, it was of utmost importance to acknowledge it.
My parents cultivated in us the ability to notice things that were done on our behalf and then respond.
When I had my own children, I established a rule to try to teach them the importance of showing gratitude. If they received a gift, they were not allowed to even open it until a thank you note was written.
The lesson is that the most important act about receiving is giving thanks. The blessings of enjoying what you were given are secondary.
When I came out of the closet and went through a divorce six years ago, I had to leave an 18 year marriage with an old car and my clothes. I had no money, no education, no home and almost no work history.
I had to start over and it has been a long, difficult road.
The one thing that stands out the most to me about this journey is that I wouldn’t be where I am without the skill of showing gratitude.
So many things have been done on my behalf because I can recognize and express appreciation for kindness. In fact, my very survival has been largely based upon the goodwill of others and my acknowledging every act of kindness.
Think about how you feel when someone not only notices your kindness, but takes a moment to express appreciation for it. They stopped life to consider your act, acknowledged it and articulated how it helped them.
You feel gratified and it makes you want to put more good out there in the world. You feel that a sacred exchange has taken place between you and someone else. It has lifted you both and positive energy was created - a relationship bond was strengthened.
Look at the people in your life. Who needs to receive a note or call to hear of your appreciation for the things that they have said and done to be a blessing in your life?
You know what to do.
BIO: Shannon Hames is a freelance writer for The Georgia Voice magazine and works as a professional organizer. She has 2 adult children and a passion for social justice, Russian tea, babies and 80's hair bands.
Create Love Founders
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Create Love Conference
March 8, 2014