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Gratitude Is a Gift You Give Yourself

Say "Thank you" to people and things

Close-up of crimson gerbera flower just beingging to open. Green foliage surroundings.
Say "Thank you" to as many things as you can every day. Photo taken by Merribeth of a flowering gerbera in her garden.

One of the first things we teach children to say is, “Thank you”. Then we forget to say it ourselves.

Before we go overseas we learn to say “Thank you” in several languages. Merci, danke, gracias, obrigado, grazie. We practice in the mirror while combing our hair, trying to get the accent right so we’re not misunderstood. We want people overseas to know that we are grateful, thankful, and appreciative. Then we forget to say it to the ones we live with when we get back home.

Expressing gratitude is a gift you give yourself as well as the other person. When you’re grateful, beneficial hormones are released in your body as well as in the recipient’s. The smile accompanying your words closes the space between you both and is usually reciprocated.

A thank you and a smile could stop wars.

How To Sense Oneness

But people aren’t the only ones we can express gratitude to. What about the iridescent green beetle in your garden, a rock by the wayside that catches your eye, the slotted spoon you use every day, your letterbox, a cricket’s call, the endless sky, drumming rain, ten fingernails, a black swan in flight, winter slippers, a waning moon.

How barren it would be if these things were suddenly removed from our life.

You can even say “Thank you” when difficulties arise. It may not change the situation, but it will change your approach to it. Next time you get a splinter, notification of an unpaid account, or a bad night’s sleep, say “Thank you” and see what happens.

To help you get into the habit of saying “Thank you” to things and situations, try saying it out loud. It might be best to say it under your breath, or just mouth the words if you fear you may be overheard. But it’s good to hear yourself say it aloud, if possible. And, far from being crazy, it’s one of the sanest things you can do.

Being grateful reminds you that you are connected to everything else.

At a deep level, you sense oneness with all things when you express gratitude.

Gratitude unifies.

Expressing gratitude changes you and changes your relationship with all things.

The more things you find to say “Thank you” to, the happier your life will be. And your quiet hum of happiness will spill out into the world and change it forever.

Gratitude is a gift you give yourself – and everything else.

With love, Marlane

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