Friday, March 31, 2017

Gratitude - Thoughtfelt or Heartfelt?

Got no check books, got no banks.
Still, I'd like to express my thanks –
I got the sun in the morning and
the moon at night.
                                   Irving Berlin

Have you ever been told that if you focus on what you are grateful for it will lesson your problems? Have you ever been told you have so much to be grateful for, how can you complain about _____?

Acknowledging our gratitude each day is a valuable habit to embrace. However, making lists and voicing what we are grateful for is not necessarily a heartfelt expression. There is gratitude of the mind and gratitude of the heart.

Recently, a friend was going through a difficult breakup. His heart was broken and he was understandably sad. As he expressed his sadness to me, he stopped himself and began to list what he has to be grateful for. I responded: “Robert, you have two different functions occurring – your thoughts of gratitude and your feelings of sadness. Both are valid.”

I believe, what is most real about us, what allows us to connect with others and what must be shared with someone who can provide compassion and empathy, is our feelings. What we think does not displace what we feel – unless we repress our feelings which is not okay.

I encourage each of us to honor and validate whatever we feel. Feelings, like thoughts and the weather, are ever changing. Yes, we do need to manage our behavior, but what we feel is what we feel. Don't label yourself as ungrateful when thought-felt gratitude doesn't disperse heartfelt feelings. Both are valid and let's welcome each as we continue on our Life's Journey....

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