Friday, 17 June 2016

Acts of Gratitude

"Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust
Never underestimate how inspiring a simple act of gratitude can be.

As I struggled to find appreciation this week, I was reminded that gratitude is not something we have to feel. While the self-help books continually urge us to be grateful for what we have, they often miss the bigger picture. Sometimes what we feel and how we act don’t have to be in sync.

Gratitude is a way of expressing our appreciation for the journey we're on. It’s easy to spout gratitude rhetoric.
“I’m grateful for the air I breathe and the spring in my step.” 
Who really wakes up first thing in the morning and thinks that?
My first thoughts are, “Thank God I didn’t sleep in and miss my alarm.”

Rhetoric is meaningless without grateful acts to back it up. So even though I have been feeling crap, alone and pretty ungrateful for my mental illness, I have shown others how much they mean to me.

This week I wrote a letter to my friend to thank her for always being there for me for me, and to cheer her up while she's having a rough time. It was such a simple act, but I really enjoyed showing her how much she means to me, and just how incredible she really is.

And others, in turn, have shown me that I am worth appreciating.

Following my post on Tuesday, I received messages telling me that even though I could find nothing to appreciate, I was appreciated. It was tough to read such support when I was lacking in any sense of self-worth. But as I returned to them over the past few days, I have felt comforted. To know that despite my moods, my feelings and my hurt, that I am loved has meant the world to me. It's given me the strength to get through the rest od the week.

What we gives comes back. Acts of gratitude can finally make us feel the appreciation we lacked before.
"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." - Cicero

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