Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Gripe With Gratitude

Most days I don't think about the fact that having things like indoor pluming, heat, air conditioning, a refrigerator, freezer, stove, microwave, my own car, a cell phone, internet, and thousands of other things that may be even less obvious, are not merely conveniences that I am lucky to have because so many in today's world don't... but also because in terms of time these things have only been available at all for what wouldn't even constitute as a blip on the radar. And yet, I was born into a time and place where most of these are considered a given.

I admit, a lot of this "today I am thankful for fill in the blank" social media status updates rub me the wrong way. Not because I am in any way against giving thanks... but because it is so very unnatural to me that it seems that it just must be insincere. Even when I know the person well and know that what they are saying is truthful, I still get that twinge. Because it points me back to my own heart as a reference, before I have a chance to guard it, and then there I sit forced to face the cold hard reality that, while I try, I am not currently a thankful person. Not automatically anyways. The opposite is too far ingrained. It takes a lot of intentional thought to be thankful, and habit forming is hard work... especially thought habits. Heart habits.

I do believe that thankfulness is a habit. Gratitude is a muscle. Not a physical one obviously, but it works in much the same way. My gratitude muscle is currently weak, but like all muscles it has latent potential. Every day that I use it it becomes stronger. Each day this month I have become less annoyed by the posts. My heart is warming up. Becoming more open, willing to see things as a blessing, less cynical and more... well, thankful.

So I wanted to thank you. All of you who have been sharing your grateful spirit with me without even knowing it. Today I am thankful for you.

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