Lessons from Exercises of Gratitude

As I went through November, forcing myself not to write ahead (and instead come up with a thing to be thankful for each day), I’ve had to realize just how lazy I am when it comes to being thankful. These are all things I’m thankful for and when I encounter them, I enjoy them. But there’s somehow a difference between enjoying something and truly realizing how grateful you ought to be for that thing.

I had no idea this was something that was happening in me and if you’ve never done something like this, I would definitely recommend such an exercise. It’s amazing the things you’ll learn about yourself and your priorities if you do. I always thought I was a grateful person, but I still have a long way to go!

For one thing, there were certain things that I kept coming back to. And the deeper I tried to reach to find something else to be thankful for, those things kept leading back to some of the same items. For example, early in the month, I explained that I was grateful for Tony. But then, as the month went on and I didn’t want to repeat items, I kept coming up with things like, “that Tony takes me seriously and supports my goals” or “that Tony takes care of me” or whatever.

Not only did I keep coming back to the same things and finding new facets of them, there were things that I wouldn’t even have noticed if I’d not been forcing myself to write something new each day. I guess this is similar to the above, but it feels different to me somehow.

But I don’t think this is something that can be accomplished by writing down a list of the things you’re thankful for in one day. It’s something that you have to mull over for many days before you realize just how many things you have to be thankful for that you just…enjoy…instead. At least, that’s my experience. If you do try this, let me know how it went for you – I’m curious!

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2 thoughts on “Lessons from Exercises of Gratitude

  1. I was thinking the same thing as I progressed through the month. There were things that I constantly returned to, and had to check what I had already written to make sure I didn't repeat, but I think I did! I find too that there are many things that I am thankful for but I take them for granted: being able to walk, talk, hear, eat without problems, and there is a list a mile long. When thinking of giving thanks, I don't include a lot of these things, though I should.

  2. As I said a couple of days ago, it felt trite for me to mention all those things. I think it's *because* I take them so much for granted that I just don't feel right saying that I'm thankful for those things.

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