“It is time to write a new text.” I’ve said to my family after dinner. By that it is understood or expected at least an hour of peace in my studio. They respected my will, so I’ve picked up the leftovers and the plates and filled the dishwasher. I am so lucky; I thought while filling it up, I miss nothing in my life. I say an honest “thank You” to the One I believe in, the One that helped me to reach it all.
I am grateful every day, on everything, for years. While I’m taking my child to school, while we learn together, fighting for the highest grade, I’m grateful on that challenge. I’m grateful on every business offer, life situation.
I’m grateful on trust and opportunity by others, this portal for giving me space for my own column, to discover to the others in it my seeing of the world. To you, everything written here is funny maybe, but not to me. I’m grateful for everything, good and bad things, situations, people, challenges. I’m grateful for…
Today I was in front of the church, sitting on a bench, yesterday as well, tomorrow I’m on the Mass. I am there where the gratitude is or the possibility to thank, for the life, gifts and every challenge. No, the things in life are not accidental; good doesn’t come out of a surprise or by itself, for good one has to put in some effort and to thank for it. One should thank for the bad experiences as well because how else would we become firmer as personalities? How would we respond in a proper way on challenges or temptation without them? How would we gather so much needed experiences for a more pleasant life? It cannot be ideal but at least we can try to make our own paradise out of this life. We have these possibilities. If I only knew that 20 years ago, when I would sometimes doubt myself and had no need to say thanks. Growing up has its value, time cannot go back but this new time can be spent in a more quality way and I am grateful on this possibility.
When you are showing interest for self-pity for a long time, you’re missing the good stuff and you just don’t see them. I’ve noticed than a long time ago and decided it is better to make a list of gratitude for all the people, things and situations that were given and gifted to me.
The bigger the list, the better the mood is, self-renewal is activated and it opens a space for recognizing the opportunities and good in everything. Doing good for someone, gifting, especially the less fortunate ones and in secrecy, renews our spirit and mind. With a healthy mind comes in pair a healthy body and the second one again is moving in a direction that brings us good and new reasons for gratitude. In a good mood and surrounding is also nicer to live, right?
So, if you are having doubts about yourself or are being torn by some sadness or fear of the future, just become determined not to sink in that state of mind in which you are feeling sorry for yourself, a warm advice would say.
If you are looking a glass that symbolizes your life, you can see it half full or half empty, it is up to you. If you cherish the gratitude your glass will always be half full and as you are watching the life from a positive aspect, you will bring into it also good people and recognize good situations and opportunities. It is easier to live like that you have to admit.
My lesson about gratitude I’ve learned long time ago, in puberty, when I was trying to do my own will even with my parents’ strict education, so that I don’t need some useless advices from others for decades. When things don’t go so smooth I consult the qualified One, in my head. On the bench in front of the church, in the role of the penitent, in the church mostly, the place of contemplation and peace, where coming back to myself is possible.
Life writes marvelous scenarios about gratitude, makes a screening like a movie or series, and makes them touchable on our own skin. Here are some episodes:
- I’m not in love with you like some of them here. – She says smiling. Some of them lowered their heads and I laughed.
- I don’t know if they are in love with me but I know they are grateful because I make them feel valued and always cheer them unlike you, who is always just giving mockery and critics. How do you expect then that the guys will appreciate you that much?
- Don’t throw away the food, ever! Be grateful for every bite. Just imagine what if, God forbid, you wouldn’t have it.
- How can you be so ungrateful? You have everything what your friends don’t have. It is up to you just to be good, nice and to learn!
There was and there still are those who value their work more than mine. They usually speak to me this way and I bet probably to you as well:
- How can you be so ungrateful, I’m helping you (with work) and you’re so cold? (I’m not so cold but I already thanked you a lot of times and it is not in my nature to say 1000 times thank you for the same thing and that’s it?)
- So that is your thank you after everything I did for you? (Well, if we have to be realistic, I did more for you because it is in my nature but ok, have it your way, I don’t want to start a fight)
This is how the people with good intentions advise you:
- You have a talent and you need to be grateful for it. Not respecting your own talent or ignoring your own possibilities brings trouble. Talent is a gift and one should be thankful for a gift. It is the minimum you can do for the God who gave you this talent to make your life easier, and to direct you to what you can do better and easier, what you love. If you don’t appreciate the gifts you are doing a sin. Be thankful for everything, that is the only way to get the good things in life.
There are those who are sincerely thankful and prove it trough their work and actions. When I need them they are “here” even if physically distanced by a couple of hours of flight distance. Some of them come alone, surprise with a nice gift because they are thankful for the company, time spent together, help and understanding when no one else was noticing them. There are a lot of them, they usually give some product of their talent and I am especially grateful for that because in that gift they’ve put themselves.
Gratitude opens the doors to new gratitude, it is clear as daylight. The more we thank for all the gifts, but also for less pleasant experiences, the more new possibilities for our progress and those for fixing the bad things open. It creates always more good and more space for being grateful.
In life and in my work I constantly meet ungrateful people, which are surprised when they get hit by life misfortunes. Sometimes they get themselves into those situations and when you help them, you barely get a “thank you”. Even when they say it, some of them don’t even think it sincerely, they just say it for social obligation. Some of them say it out of habit, not even thinking of the power of the meaning of it. Some of them say it out of plain interest and look at you as their toy. When you discover what they’re doing and tell it to them to make them ashamed, they get insulted instead of thanking you for a possibility to change.
Do you have them in your life as well?
Here is what about gratitude some of my best friends say:
“Gratitude should be one of the basic manners of every human being. The base of a character with quality. The sense of gratitude one builds for years, trough encounters with different people or some happenings. Unfortunately not everyone has that sense in them. Some of them will never be grateful on what they have in their lives, while others will recognize it only when they survive an accident just by luck.
It is absurd that a man starts thinking of those things only when he’s going trough a rough period in his life. When we have a lot we don’t know how to appreciate it, but when we lose something, then we start thinking and regretting. But not all of us accept everything equally; we all think in our own way, everyone is a unique thinking unit. This dose of gratitude also depends of our surroundings, people we meet every day and of course our life experiences, good or bad. The time is building us trough life and the happenings form us.
There really isn’t some rule, someone will go trough hell in life and have everyone around them, and on the other side someone else will have everything they want and still feel hatred no matter what and without a minimum dose of gratitude. You either have that feeling in yourself and have to wait a certain time that it comes out, or you don’t have it. It is black and white. Sometimes we need someone’s encouragement to open up, but in some cases human mind is the worst dungeon. The feelings may exist but none of them will ever see the daylight, nor will any of suggestions come trough all that darkness.” (D.K)
“ There is actually not a lot of grateful people. I’m thankful to the planet Earth for all the great people that are not vampires but batteries that give us life energy. I am grateful for the recent oxygen as I used to work with walking ashtrays…and so my Armani, Idole Armani, and my expensive perfume would turn into nicotine next to them. I am thankful for the perfume factories that exist! I am thankful to my friend that does miracles with fabrics with her scalpel and scissors! And most of it thank to God that I am not born in some Bronx or as some hungry human in Africa but I am here and am doing what I’m doing.” (V.R)
I could write more (and I will on some other occasion) but they say I write texts that make them think. Some of them are grateful on this thinking adventure as their mind is doing fitness then, but to prevent the burnout and keep you in the good mood, I would like to add just a couple more quotes for the end, as a trustworthy reminder that gratitude is always good to have in mind:
“Those who are grateful feel a miraculous balance in which they give and take. The gratitude starts a positive consciousness filled with joy in us and unites us with the way of life that gives us inner pleasure.- J.M. Templeton
“Ingratitude will sooner or later show itself deadly.”- Twi people
Nives Stepinac Grgurić is the author of the most articles on fashion & lifestyle web sites marla-design.com i whattafashion.com. She writes about love and life, relationships as a freelance writer for many other portals and blogs and is a columnist at portaloko.hr. For cooperation please contact at marla.com.hr
Translation: Anita Pavicic