“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.” – Melodie Beattie
The practice of gratitude is externally focused with deep internal rewards. It requires something outside of ourselves to be thankful for, a gesture, act of service, and the sharing of knowledge or perspective. We can be grateful for a sunset, but we may point that gratitude towards the maker of the sunset or the person who took us to see it.
“Gratitude is by definition antiheroic. It does not depend on courage or strength or talent. It is based on our incompleteness.” – Piero Ferrucci
In his book, The Power of Kindness, Ferrucci continues to explain that gratitude is recognition that we cannot manage life alone. We can stop over-functioning and let others help us. We have permission to take off the cape and keep our feet on the ground because we were never supposed to be a superhero.
Gratitude is affirming. It is the absence of walls which keep us afraid and isolated. It is the melting of chilly my-way-ness which stops people from learning the power of we. It cracks the rigid barrier that anger requires to stay overheated. It allows our softer self to emerge.
Once our gentleness enters the story – our narrative about our whole self can change. We can use the gentility towards what is broken within us and stop fighting against others because we are afraid they will break more of our fragile things.
Ferrucci believed in gratitude as an important change agent for his clients. He said, “For me, it is the single most certain criterion for knowing how well a person is. It shows that her channels of communication are open, that she neither overestimates herself (as she knows she needs others) not underestimates herself (as she knows she deserves what she receives).”
One Thing to Do: Remember every good thing which has come to you.
When we think about the things/people, we are grateful for we begin to realize that everything we enjoy has come to us through someone else.
Dawna Daigneault, Ed.S., LPC.