Recently my workplace initiated a thank you project. They sent five blank thank you cards out to all employees so that they could send them on to anyone they chose who have made a difference, big or small, in the work environment. This was a lovely idea and, of course, got me thinking about gratitude in general. We often don’t say thank you even though we feel gratitude toward the people in our lives. Meister Eckhart says “If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”
Gratitude, when expressed, can bring joy to both the giver and receiver. When heartfelt it warms others. Feeling gratitude for the little things in life can shift your perspective away from what’s going wrong to what’s going right, bringing about contentment or bliss. Simply put, it can change your life.
I feel gratitude to my family, friends, to those who have supported me over the years even if they aren’t aware of how they’ve affected me. These people make life more rich, more meaningful and in bad times, more bearable. I’m thankful for the teachers who brought me long-lasting lessons of how to work toward peace, how to heal, and how to connect to spirit. I’m also grateful for some of the teachers that I may not have wanted in my life at the time. Looking back, it’s easy to see how painful moments in life can lead to events or circumstances that change your life course. I look back at the guy that broke my heart many years ago that inadvertently had a hand in my quitting drinking. I’m very thankful for that heartbreak as it lead me to a life full of spirit and bliss as opposed to fear and loneliness. I’m thankful to the boss who fired me once as it forced me to leave a job that I was completely unsuited to and brought me to a place where I earned far more money and had the responsibility I needed to feel more fulfilled. I’m thankful for the people that have appeared in my life, even if briefly, to plant an idea or bring a moment of happiness or share some wisdom. I’m thankful for this moment as I sit here writing, knowing that this is the only moment I have.