October 15th, 2013
You may know the “thank-you list” as “giving gratitude” and it is exactly what you think: writing down the people, places, and things you are grateful to have in your life. Gurus (and Oprah) advise that speaking your gratitude to the universe is a powerful exercise that enacts a simple but fundamental shift in thinking from negative to positive, and while I haven’t ever fully committed to a daily list, I’m sure they’re right.
So that’s what I want us to do today: write our gratitude on paper. However, I’d love more than a list. I’d like a brief explanation of why you’re thankful for what you’ve committed to paper. I’ll start the prompt:
I’m grateful for:
1) The journey: I’m constantly traveling in the soul, and it’s not always light and wonder. In fact, I’ve learned some pretty hard lessons about myself and get into some pretty sad places ruminating over them. In the end, I’d rather discover who I am and change the energy-sapping, not-so-good parts then go with the status quo. Right now, I’m in self-assessment mode and it’s been tough, but at least I’m moving forward in stops and starts. I’m thankful for the moving.
2) Keeping on trying: This may seem a lot like the journey, but it’s not the road itself, it’s the deciding to stay on it. This applies to a lot of life areas for me, but most recently, I was very upset with my husband because I felt like he was always criticizing or instructing me. I told him that it seems like when I’m “always” in a courtroom, school, or workplace” when he’s around and that I want a marriage, I JUST WANT A MARRIAGE! WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME? (My drama is epic.) Yesterday, I was especially upset so I went upstairs to work and responded in monosyllables when he talked to me. Then, I imagined my single-person condo that I keep behind my brain for marital emergencies. (I’ll never make dinner! I’ll watch Lifetime all night! I won’t have to keep a husband caddy by the front door so he can pile all his bills, glasses, newspaper clippings, workout recovery supplements, and Father’s Day gift minutiae in it!). And finally, I woke up this morning to a gesture of kindness and a note. So it’s those keeping on trying things I appreciate – and need to do more of myself.
3) Coffee in the morning: Once I was very sad and my brother happened to call right in the middle of a emotional breakdown. He listened patiently and sympathetically, then told me, “You’ll get through this day and then you’ll wake up tomorrow and have your cup of coffee and begin again.” Ever since, my morning cup of coffee has symbolized a new beginning, a chance to change things, a fresh perspective.
4) My kids becoming: You know when your children are young? And it feels like energy is constantly going out and you are ever impressing upon them: it’s time to nap, drink this milk, go to bed? There’s so many rules to be established and so much of you goes into setting up a safe border of “be who you want, but don’t do this.” As my kids grow older, they are impressing upon me. They’ve developed personalities, bloomed world observations, and become people. That process teaches parents a lot about themselves and is one of the greatest gifts: watching your children be who they will be regardless of you.
5) Music: Hearing another person’s soul in the air is something I’ll never get over.
Now you! Please post your submission in the comments OR post in your blog and leave a link to your blog in the comments.
To bone up on PROMPTuesdays, read a bit about it here.