Giving Thanks

I am regularly intrigued by a narrative many of us carry around with us about the value of acknowledging the efforts of others on our behalf. Saying ‘thank you for doing that’ is something that at first blush appears pretty simple. But it is not. Often there are barriers that prevent us from seeing the act as one of ‘giving’ in the first place, and then we get all messed up with a story that often sounds like this, “Well, they never thank me.” or “I do so much for them, they should just be grateful for that.” (sort of a ‘keeping score’). These are old stories that we have learned over time…
A ‘thank you’ is actually an acknowledgement that “I see you”. And that is what all of us want most of all. For some odd reason, many of us believe that if we express gratitude for something that someone else did, we are giving a part of ourselves away. How did we get to the point of seeing this as a zero sum game? If I give to you, I am somehow diminshed.
And then there are those times when we may be getting an occasional ‘thanks’, only to have it followed by a “but – you could have done it better, could have done more, it isn’t just right…” There are those who will never see something through the lens of “good enough”.
As we approach the holiday of Thanksgiving, I invite you reflect on your habits around expressing gratitude. Can you do it with no strings attached – just pure and simple “Thanks, I’m glad you are in my life.”?
What you will no doubt find is that only from a space of genuine gratitude, will you have full access to joy.

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