Friday, November 28, 2008

Gratitude

Look up this word online and you will get thousands of links (18,500 on Google). Gratitude quotes, journals, even dances.

What does the word mean to you?

Gratitude - being grateful, being thankful - seems to some to mean an onerous obligation, like when your mother prods you to say, "Thank you," to a great aunt who's given you an ugly sweater. Or it may feel like you have to pay it back, quick, so you won't be the one stuck receiving something instead of giving. The verse in the Bible about it being more blessed to give than to receive has turned out way too many pain-in-the-ass people who can't accept help, compliments, or gifts. It's really ugly to never need anything from anyone. Puts your friends and relations in the position of having to feel like beggars because they can never help you. But looked at another way, are you not giving someone a gift when you accept their help or gift? You are giving them the pleasure of giving, the feeling of having done something for someone else. I still remember when, after visiting my Grandfather and Grandmother in Florida when I was sixteen, I tried to give them a small gift out of gratitude for the visit. I had noticed that they liked a particular mint candy, so I bought some for them. I shyly handed the box to my Grandmother. She handed it back to me saying, "No, thanks, dear." I was hurt and confused. I'm sure she meant well, but it smarted. They had given me a week of their time and things, but refused my gift? Even if they hadn't wanted it, it would have been kinder to take the candy. It took years for me to be able to offer freely after that.

Yeah, I was very sensitive. Painfully so. Daydreamers can be so far into their own navels that they can't see daylight. Scared of rejection, scared to give, afraid to love.

I am grateful I am past that, for the most part. I am grateful for friends who taught me the give and take of friendship. I am grateful that I have finally learned it's not always about me.

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!

2 comments:

Dan said...

Becca, I love what you say about us giving someone else a gift by receiving something from them with gratitude.

I know in relationships it feels at least important to feel you are supporting and enhancing the life of the other person as it is that they do the same for you. You both have to be able to love and let yourself be loved...

Really enjoying your thoughtful blog posts... : )

Dan

Junebug56 said...

Thanks, Dan!
Glad you got what I was trying to say here. I like the way you put it - "supporting and enhancing the life of the other person".
Your CCS has really supported and enhanced my life!
Becca