thankFULL Thursdays…

Every Thursday, during the month of November,  a guest blogger will offer thoughts here on gratitude.

I’m honored to introduce you to Linda Lewis.  Linda is an artist, entrepreneur, collaborator, writer, humorist and so much more.  She has a very impressive presence online.  Here’s just one of the sites she’s created. Hope you’ll ‘meet’ her for yourself very soon.

I invite you to respond to Linda’s post here.

Here’s what she has to say about gratitude…

“The thing I’m most thankful for right now is elastic waistbands.” – Author Unknown :0)

The idea of “gratitude” is different for each of us. The dictionary says, “the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.” But gratitude doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We’re grateful when we receive needed help, encouragement when we’re facing one of life’s potholes, an ear when we desperately need to vent without fear of judgment, or a hug when we feel overwhelmed. When we receive something, we’re grateful. Hopefully, we tell the person “thank you,” or bake him or her a loaf of bread, or share a meal, and are then eager for a chance to reciprocate or help someone else at a later time. One of my favorite quotes is, “Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” ~ William Faulkner.

I consider gratitude and a healthy sense of humor survival skills. Some people rush around trying to chase happiness, thinking it an elusive state, rather than realizing the capacity for it is inside them all along. Gratitude is also a state of mind – as essential to a full life as breathing.

The happiest people I know are those who have “decided” to be happy. When we were driving my mother-in-law to an assisted living facility several years ago, I asked her how she felt about the move. She immediately answered, “I’ll love it! My startled look prompted her to add, “I’ll MAKE it a good home for me. I’ll meet new friends. I’ll join groups. I’ll LOVE it!” To say she did just that would be an understatement. To say that she was grateful for all the love she received in return also says much too little. What a role model!

There are “attention-getters” in each person’s life that jerk us up, scare us, hurt us, and give us a wholly different outlook on the rest of our life. These life events can be health scares, accidents, acts of God, or losses from which we think we can never recover. If we’re lucky, we find an inner strength WAAAAAY down inside, reminding us to treasure the HERE and NOW, living our
lives to the fullest with gratitude and humor.

Look around you. REALLY LOOK! Take stock of ALL the good things surrounding you. Make a list if you need to, but learn to really be AWARE of the people you love in the world, whether they live with you or across the globe; the people you list as “friends;” the acquaintences who share a love of the same activities; whatever gives you pleasure. Flowers, animals, beautiful weather, a
glorious breeze, a hammock, a screened porch, a nice view, a funny movie or TV show, the contagious laugh of a little child, a puppy licking your hand.

Gratitude for what you HAVE is priceless. Realizing that you’re lucky beyond belief is a gift not only to you, but to all those who come in contact with you! Make gratitude your way of life – a gift to enthusiastically share with others. “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~ William Arthur Ward

And then remember, “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. Margaret Cousins

“Maybe we’re not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. Maybe we’re thankful for the familiar things we know. And maybe we’re thankful for the things we’ll never know. At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.”  Meredith Grey

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4 thoughts on “thankFULL Thursdays…

  1. I appreciate your giving me the opportunity to write a guest blog, Lisa. I loved the one last Thursday, and I’m eager to read the other blogs in your ‘gratitude’ series.

  2. Yes, gratitude/thankfulness is a learned behavior that helps brighten my life immensely.

    Linda, I love your mother-in-law’s take on the world and will try to remember it in my world vision!

  3. Hi, Judi. Thanks for leaving a comment. My mother-in-law’s attitude was so wonderful and self-fulfilling. I try to emulate her every day. I’m so glad you found it helpful, too!

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