Today is the start of my Gratitude Journal, thanks to Lorelle Bell for the nomination. I looked up the meaning of gratitude and the Oxford dictionary defines it as follows, “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness; recognition and acknowledgement”. The etymology of the word points to goodwill, thankful pleasing and grace. Now that ‘grace’ part got me interested , so I looked up the definition of grace and one of its meanings was,“a divinely given blessing”. I like that. It warms my heart to the possibility that when we engage with gratitude we bless others and are divinely blessed in our actions. On reflection, I have come to realise that gratitude is a conscious choice. So what are the pros and cons of engaging or not engaging with gratitude? Well personal experience has taught me that when I engage with gratitude by expressing it through speaking or writing, my spirit feels lighter, happiness finds me and instantly I feel more open to others and experiences the world has to offer me. When I do not engage with gratitude and consciously focus on the negative, heaviness stalks me, leaving me feeling shut down and closed off to everything that may come my way. The choice is ours to make… and I choose gratitude. Hmmm…what am I grateful for? I am grateful for the beautiful quote on gratitude below, written by the psychologist, writer and priest, Henry Nouwen. Last but not least I am grateful to every reader who I am able to touch through my writing and sharing. My gratitudes are many.
“The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have, is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy. It is a divine gift, freely given to us so that we may offer thanks and share it with others.” – Henry Nouwen
Visit this site for more information about his work here.