Doing Gratitude


For the third day in a row, I walked out thefor without my sunglasses. I arrived at the bus stop just in time to see the bus go by on the far side of the street- before I could cross to catch it. All in all my day should not have been off to a good start, but I found myself feeling strangely upbeat about it.

“What if the next bus is so crowded you have to stand?” Asked the pessimist in my mind. I quickly quashed the fear before I could obsess over it.

“Don’t think yourself into trouble.” I told myself, and for a welcome change I actually listened to my own advice. My reflection in the mirror showed me someone with a lightness in their eyes for a change, and I wanted to keep it.

I spent the spare moments of the day trying to write letters of gratitude to the people in my life who helped my personal growth within the past year. There have been quite a few. Not all of them are people who made me happy. Not all the letters will get sent, but it was helpful for me to really think about how various people in my life have changed me.

It occurred to me that gratitude is really a precursor for, say, forgiveness. I’ve often wondered how one goes about forgiving someone. Is it just as simple of saying “I forgive you” to the person? Or just out loud? Or thinking it?

Gratitude is a lot more concrete: one can be grateful for a lesson learned, a skill acquired, an object given, a story told- and you don’t have to like the person in order to be grateful to them. You don’t have to forgive a person to be grateful to them. You don’t have to worry about patronising someone with your gratitude: it is a recognition of value instead of an erasure of ill will.

I’m not sure where I was going with this: it’s late and I’m tired. But also grateful. And I feel better already.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on December 11, 2018.

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