Each evening near bedtime and when I first wake up each morning in my thoughts are questions like “What am I grateful for today? What am I going to write about on my goodmorninggratitude.com blog?” These simple little questions asked of myself so consistently have been profoundly life changing. The more I find to be grateful for, the longer my gratitude list becomes.
This morning the answer to the usual gratitude quandaries brought new questions instead of answers. “Am I grateful for myself? Am I thankful for me?” My mind is lightning fast at pointing out my shortcomings and mistakes. My thinking self is expert at chiding my feeling self for any and all indiscretions and missteps. After stepping past that insidious nature of my thinking the answer to my quandary this morning is “yes, I am grateful for me, but not enough”.
So I began to conduct an internal interview asking things like: “what about me am I the most thankful for? What ability do I have I should be most grateful for? What have I been able to accomplish that I take the most satisfaction in?” As I began the self examination, the mental judge and jury created their usual negative noise but thankfully I have learned to largely ignore it. (How about that! There’s something about me to be grateful for: the learned ability to not listen too much to my ego’s judgment machine.)
What else about me do I have gratitude for? My first thought after asking that question again was I am thankful that I have taken better than average care of my body and am healthy. Much of it was pure luck and not directed intention, but the gratitude is not diminished by that.
Within I find thanks for the mind that I have. Certainly it’s questioning, always wanting to learn, inability to be still and always trying to make sense of everything can be exhausting. However, the rewards of a searching and seeking mind far exceed the burden.
When I was younger I thought as a man my emotional and caring nature was a weakness. Now I know I just had to grow into the “coat of feeling” I wore. It was simply too large for me when I was young, but fits well now most of the time. There is thankfulness to possess the gift of feeling so deeply and to have worn it through the years without letting experience wear it out.
Again I sit here asking myself what I am grateful for about me, the answers do not readily come. It even feels a bit self indulgent to look for things. Now popping into my head are things I have accomplished that I have pride about and thankfulness for. My career has been good and successful. I grew into being a good father. Being a good friend to those close to me I am better at than average. Further, on my list of accomplishments is everything from becoming a pilot to developing photography skills good enough to be published and work professionally. Yet, such things do not impress me that much any more. They just feel like my ego talking.
Once upon a time I fancied myself something of a poet and worked hard on that craft. Often I would write poetry for someone and give it to them as a gift keeping no copy of what I created. In my heart of hearts, there is much gratefulness that I appreciate and enjoy poetry. These days appreciating poetry is something of a passing sentiment and poems are largely relegated to the past now. Just writing the two previous lines made me realize how grateful I am that I once found pleasure in trying to create verse. Most of what I wrote in my youth was brooding, introspective and often concerned issues within a relationship or one that had failed. In retrospect, writing those poems was a good coping mechanism. Not being able to remember the specific subject of each poem I wrote back then allows me today to better appreciate the little webs of words spun back then.
The shadows of springtime slowly fall with the day,
And I find myself wondering with so little to say.
Why do things you’re not supposed to touch, feel the best?
Why do things you not supposed to see, look better than the rest?
If life were only a day,
Then in my last hour I’d think back
To search my mind’s lines and creases
To remember all of my day’s bits and pieces.
Somewhere between nameless faces
And almost forgotten places,
I’d come across a thought of you….
Those were written the year I turned 21 and finding them last week in an old journal has been an eye opener. I had all but forgotten about what capacity I had to string words together into something of a poem. The desire to attempt to write poetry has long lay dormant. But it has now been awaked and I am curious to see if I can still piece together such creations. I will try my hand at it in the coming days.
As I better learn the path of gratitude, I have discovered what appears to be a clear truth. Whenever I focus and begin to ask myself what I am grateful for, I always find things to be thankful for. Further, what is abundantly clear to me now is when I am able to keep that focus of gratefulness for a short while; something mostly unnoticed usually rises to the top of my gratitude stack of the day.
I began writing today in a wandering and somewhat disoriented fashion as I attempted to focus and find items about myself I am grateful for. And in doing so I rediscovered that little bit of a poet that resides in my soul. At this moment I feel like I am more of myself than yesterday simply because I remembered some good about me I had essentially forgotten. No matter how humble or remarkable a life may seem, each of us has forgotten riches within just waiting to be rediscovered.
May you never forget what is worth remembering, not ever remember what is best forgotten. Irish Blessing