Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. The tradition of preparing and eating lots of wonderful food, watching football, and being with family and friends is wonderful. Yet for me, it’s the intent behind the holiday – giving thanks – that reigns as my all-time favorite thing about it.
Yet I wonder if giving thanks is as meaningful as it could be? I love the idea of “gratitude” – and what may make it different from “thanks”?
I think “thanks” has become somewhat trite in our society. It has lost its depth of meaning. We often say it automatically, without allowing ourselves to truly experience it (this makes it a good thing to celebrate once a year as a reminder).
However gratitude feels significant. It has depth, color, and requires some thought. When I think about someone that I feel gratitude for, I sense it as a soft warm light in my heart that shines even when that person isn’t nearby.
Being in a state of gratitude implies a constancy of feeling; we notice what – and who – we are grateful for every day, perhaps every minute. It changes us for the better, allowing us to see the good in others. It teaches us to forgive and start anew in our relationships. I am grateful for you, and that feels good to both of us.
Gratitude requires presence and vigilance to notice. Pay attention: what are you missing that might trigger a sense of gratitude?
Who needs to know of your gratitude?
How can you practice being in a state of gratitude on a daily basis?
Happy Thanksgiving, and here’s to a future of being in a state of gratitude.