Okay, now that I have your attention. No, not another article on GRATITUDE! We just hand Thanksgiving leave us alone already. I know, but here's the thing gratitude can really help. I don't have fancy charts, or scientific proof, just an exercise that you can try if you are feeling helpless, hopeless, or just down right yucky.
Recently I went to a discount store and picked up this fun holiday paper. I took it home without really knowing what to do with it, but I was willing to wait until it was ready to contribute and I was ready to receive its contribution. I don't even remember when I got the idea, but I started writing letters. I began with "Dear Someone, stranger, person I don't know," and from there began to express my gratitude for them. I thought about all the people I have ever met, or not met, or seen standing on a street corner and I began to write as if I was writing to one of them. The letters began to take shape into something way bigger than I could ever have imagined. I started viewing people and this planet in a completely different way.
Okay FLOW CHART TIME!:
This is me writing a letter of gratitude for another person----> this is the words of gratitude that express what a gift this person is exactly as they are------> this is me understanding that complete strangers can be a gift to me because I am expressing gratitude without ever having known them-------> This is also me understanding that I too am the same gift and source of gratitude for other people out in the world------> this is the fun part of delivering, or not delivering the letters to complete strangers and still getting to have gratitude anyways.
Did you get all that? How cool is it that you can be a source of gratitude for others and that, in and of itself, is a gift? I mean really, could it be any easier to be a contribution to this world? What I have learned is that in the midst of trauma and drama I can pick up a pen and some paper and open my mind to understand that every person on this planet has purpose, meaning. If I can strip away the judgement and realize that they are a source of contribution for me then I can know that no person on this planet is wasted. This is not about God, or Kumbaya, or even Christmas. This is just me sharing an experience that has created change in my life. Strangers I have never met have changed my future, and that is a powerful thing to experience.
The next time you want to say to yourself or others F*$K Gratitude, just remember that it can be a source for change and contribution. How much are you avoiding being the source of change and contribution this earth requires, and what would it take to change that? For me all it took was gratitude.