Be grateful to everyone.
Gratitude. To others.
We read about it a lot. It is at the core of many teachings and texts. In recent weeks I have been sitting with the idea of gratitude to others and the times it seems easier and others where it seems a challenge.
Challenge? Why would it be challenging to be grateful? Thankful?
It is easy to feel grateful to people who help us laugh. Bring us a new way of thinking. Invite us into their homes. Introduce us to new experiences. Show us empathy and understanding.
What about the people who have hurt us so that thoughts of them bring heartache? People that we believe “should” have behaved differently towards us.
I have been challenged lately to feel grateful for the lessons taught to me by someone whose behaviour has had far reaching and long term impacts.
How do you turn your hurt into gratitude?
In speaking with a friend yesterday, I grappled with so many aspects of this question and today I start again with a renewed intention to learn, to shed the hurt of the past and flourish. So I turned again to the article* on which I based my last two posts on.
Tip number 3. Be grateful to everyone.
So to you, Towards a Better You readers, I declare my gratitude to this person and all others in my life who have harmed my heart. I am grateful for the people you are and that it was you who started me on this journey. It was you who gave me the opportunity to challenge myself, to become an independent woman with no regrets. To look at the world around me and question. To seek out and surround myself with people of creativity, love and energy. As well as now being able to enjoy my own company and slowly find my own voice.
And at times when living and feeling this gratitude to you as individuals is hard, I will turn to Norman Fischer‘s article again and be reminded of other people for whom to be thankful.
The people who grow the food that sustains me, who made my clothing, built my home and the transport on which I travel.
Norman says it well, “It’s thanks to others and their presence and effort that you have the things you need to continue, and that you have friendship and love and meaning in your life. Without others, you have nothing.”
So I am am grateful today for others. And I am grateful to be on this journey with a fabulous array of people with different personalities and passions who present new ideas to me every day.
Are you challenged at the moment? Do you find it hard to feel gratitude at times? Start at the beginning, look at the floor you walk on, the bricks that make up your shelter, the clothes you wear. Others put their effort into those things and you now benefit from them.
Let’s exercise our gratitude muscles and they will grow stronger, leading to us greater happiness and love than we may ever have thought possible.
*Life is Tough. Here Are Six Ways to Deal With It” BY NORMAN FISCHER| MARCH 21, 2017. Excerpted from “Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong.” 2013.