Updated: Mar 19, 2021
Who knew that expressing gratitude could have such a positive impact on one’s life.
Making a conscious decision to commit to a journey of gratitude as an adolescent was the best decision that I’ve ever made and still benefit from as an adult. Sowing and reaping so many benefits just by genuinely being grateful for my blessings and being a blessing to others was the selling point for me.
When we are grateful and thankful, we welcome more things to be grateful and thankful for.
What do I need to know about expressing gratitude?
Giving gratitude and being gracious to others is just one level of it. There are so many levels to gratitude and some of them will push you out of your comfort zone. But do it anyway. You can walk around saying please and thank you but it means nothing if you are not operating from a space of intentionality. You have to live it. Even during those times when it’s challenging for you, do it anyway.
It should emit from your being and your essence. It needs to become you and a part of your daily routine, this is what I like to call “ the work”. Putting in” the work” requires intentionality and the daily practice of taking inventory of your blessings and also by being a blessing to others. It's like a symbiotic relationship. You get out what you put in.
My late Grandmother Mary used to say, “I can show you better than I can tell you.” You don’t have to walk around beating your chest or exclaiming the benefits of gratitude to everyone you encounter. It will be evident through your actions and the multitude of blessings that are pouring into your life. Show, not tell. Plus, someone is always watching what we do, so we might as well make it a positive teachable moment.
Expressing gratitude will open doors and create opportunities for you in ways that are incomprehensible to others. Let’s face it, not everyone will be happy about your blessings.
I lost some people along the way.
People who I thought would be a part of my life forever suddenly weren’t around. Many of them were unwilling to do” the work” to better themselves. I am thankful for them being a part of my journey and like the late Nipsey Hustle quotes” everybody can’t go.”
What does it mean to give gratitude?
Gratitude looks different for all of us. Gratitude doesn’t mean you have to be positive at all times. Hell Naw! C’mon let's face it, no one is happy and positive all of the time. Life doesn’t work that way.
It means that you are making a conscious decision filled with integrity and intention to be better and to do better. It means that you acknowledge that there is a higher power other than yourself. It means that you acknowledge that you are powerful and you use your power to empower others. It’s something that you will have to do every day of your life. Some days will be easier than others. If you don’t get it right today, fuck it. La tabla rasa: blank slate that shit and start fresh tomorrow. It’s not a one and done, it’s a continual process.
What does it mean to receive gratitude?
Many people are natural givers. They will give so much to others but struggle with receiving. For many, receiving is a sign of weakness. For some, they’d rather give than receive because they don’t want anyone holding anything over their heads. Giving gratitude comes easier to some, it’s the receiving part that gets all fuzzy and gray.
If someone thanks you for a favor or a kind deed, do you take the time to savor the compliment or do you dismiss it quickly by saying you’re welcome? Receiving thanks can be uncomfortable for people. In some instances, these are the same people that will genuinely express gratitude to others but struggle when others express their gratitude for them. Talk about irony.
Living a life of gratitude requires you to be able to give it and to receive it. Genuinely!
I’d be remiss to say that this shit is easy. Somedays, I don’t feel like it, but then I have to be honest with myself about doing “the work”. Yeah, it can be time-consuming or I may just not want to do it, but I’m worth it. You’re worth it. We’re worth it. Taking the time to express gratitude, positively affects moods.
Ultimately, we must individually identify what makes us feel positive and lively and whatever that is, do more of that. Creating a daily routine to express gratitude and thanks will lift your spirits and welcome more joyous encounters and experiences.
I implore you more things to be grateful for, and may you see for yourself how you can be a vessel for someone else to be grateful for.