A few months ago, I received news of the passing of a friend’s brother from cancer. One of the gang. Gone. When I learned of his brother’s passing I was gutted. Truly gutted. Not for myself, but for my friend.
I went online to leave my condolences on the brother’s Facebook page for his kids and fiancée, and one particular memorial caught my attention in its simplicity and honesty. It read, “Thanks for spending time with me this last month.” No bravado… no, “we were the best friends ever”, no empty platitudes. Just a thank-you for those last, precious days and hours that could have been spent somewhere else, with someone else. Gratitude in its purest form.
Want more gratitude in your life…
Choose one person in your world that makes you feel truly thankful for their part in your life. It can be a spouse, a friend, a family member or a co-worker. It really doesn’t matter who they are — what’s more important is the feelings of gratitude they elicit in you.
Now, I want you to write them a letter. Purchase a blank greeting card that helps reflect your relationship with this individual. As you write this letter, tell them why you value their relationship and include a few points that are especially noteworthy — a great ability to listen, the best time you’ve ever shared with them, character traits you really appreciate. Anything that comes to mind and helps to build the whole of your gratitude.
Here comes the more difficult part — you need to read them your letter in-person. Be it face-to-face or over the phone, Skype, or any other number of means, you need to convey it to them personally. Follow up by mailing or hand-delivering it.
As you do this, make note of the different feelings it might bring up — nervousness, happiness, contentment, giddiness, or maybe even a little sadness or distress.
Each of these emotions and responses plays into that overall gratitude you feel, and as you begin to recognize its different components, you’ll notice that these come up in day-to-day life, and you will soon start noticing how small they can be and that they, too, are grounds for gratitude.