Gratitude or Thanks

We have been talking about Gratitude a lot recently.  When I listen to what Jeanne and others say, I wonder if I am always grateful, or am I just thankful.  I know for some, these two things are the same thing, but that is definitely not my understanding.

“Thank you” seems to me to be what I say to people for things said or done.  This does not mean that when I say “Thank you” I don’t mean it, but, for me, it seems like the easy way out.

Gratitude, again, for me, is what comes from my heart.  It opens me to letting people, and God, fully into my being.  It is a much more real commitment to others, to God and to myself.

Saying that, it would seem nearly impossible to be grateful unless I am willing to risk being open to receive not just words and deeds meant for me, but also being open to love, compassion, and even hurt.

Why would any of us want to be hurt?  It isn’t that we want to be hurt, but unless our hearts are open to hurt as well as love and compassion, we cannot be grateful.  I don’t want to be hurt, but in dealing with hurt, I learned forgiveness, I met new challenges, I grew as a person, and I know that hurt will not stay with me, and the lessons learned make a difference in my life.

Having said all of that, and listening to what Rev. Jeanne and others have had to say about gratitude, has brought about a new stance for me.  I am even more committed to living a grateful life and to sharing that by just the way I live, treat others, pray, believe in myself, and listen.  This feels really good to me, now if I can just live it… Join me? 

      - Chris L.