“Today, Let Us Swim Wildly, Joyously In Gratitude. Rumi

I tend to be a pretty grateful person. At some point, some where I fully embraced being thankful for what I had and readiness to show appreciation to others. The word gratitude means a feeling of appreciation. If I reflect upon when that clicked for me it was when as a single mom, raising two daughters, making almost enough money to get by with the basics of shelter and food.

The other night my girls and were Facetiming and one of my daughter’s was saying she was going to have luscious leftovers for dinner. We talked how that was what I called it when they were kids. What I shared with them is that I made fancy names for leftovers (and just so you know I LOVE leftovers) because I often only had enough money to buy a minimal amount of food that would need to be repeated throughout the week. While it was incredibly stressful for me as a mom, I was incredibly grateful and appreciative that we had food. By giving it a fun spin with my girls changed our perspective on our luscious leftover meal.

In elementary school I did not have the extra few dollars to give my daughter’s to buy a book at the book fair. It was hard on me as a parent. Yet what helped to stretch me and see this moment in a different light was how I was going to make this okay for my kids. I was not going to paint the lack of funds for my girls in a negative way. We have shelter, we have food which I was grateful for. My girls were the only students in each of their classes that did not have any money to buy a book. I do not recall what I said or how I said it, yet one day years ago when we were talking about this my daughter said “I remember that and how it wasn’t a big deal to me.”

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

In hard, rough times it can be challenging to see the good, to feel gratitude and then to show appreciation. Yet there is good going on somewhere, somehow. In an article in the Liberationist.org “Why Appreciation Will Help You See More Opportunities in Life” states:

“Life doesn’t owe you anything. Appreciation means stop taking everything for granted.

Appreciation is something powerful. It doesn’t just reflect on you but, most importantly, on the receiver. Even something more mundane as email response rates are affected by gratitude. “Thank you in advance,” “Thank you,” and “Thanks” are the three most powerful words to end an email.

Give appreciation with respect and kindness.”

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

By simply saying thank you, showing appreciation, demonstrating your gratitude with words. In an article in the Greater Good Magazine “The Ripple Effects of a Thank You” states:

“When people witness an expression of gratitude, they see that the grateful person is the kind of person who notices when other people do kind things and actually takes the time to acknowledge them—meaning, they’re a good social partner,” says Algoe. “People who are responsive as social partners are really desirable people.”

Based on other survey questions, Algoe and her team also discovered that participants wanted to help and affiliate with the person receiving the gratitude. That’s because receiving gratitude marks you as a person who is effective at being supportive or helpful, says Algoe.

“It’s helpful to know who the people in our environment are who will do nice things for other people, because they are attractive relationship partners,” she says.

What was the exact cause of participants’ reactions, though? It’s possible that people are attracted to others who seem positive in general, like the reviewer, or they simply felt elevated by witnessing the other participant’s generosity.”

Think about this. A simple thank you, whether verbally or written, can send a ripple of positivity to other people beyond the beyond the two person exchange of the thanker and thankee. Wow that is powerful.

So on this day as the sun is rising while I write this and I am sitting by my working gas fireplace because my furnace is broke, I want to extend my thank you to all of you who take some of your precious time to read this. I do so very much appreciate all of you. The likes and comments you share are truly icing on my cake. Thank you for being you. Thank you for bringing your you to the world. We need you so very much. Who you are matters.

May your thank you be with you💜

Photo by Courtney Hedger on Unsplash