A while ago I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat Pray Love”. And although it took me a year of reading on and off, the last section on Love, had me riveted and I devoured the final section in two days. The first two chapters were very valuable as well, but I found that I needed time to contemplate the musings, really think about how I relate to what she was working through. It was a very interesting process!
One of my challenges has been to work on receiving compliments and thank yous from others. Receiving them, allowing what the other person is saying to resonate with me, and then acknowledging it gracefully. Why, has this been a challenge for me? In the present, I am actively changing my willingness to receive compliments and thank yous. I am striving to hand out compliments, and be grateful in the moment for the little things. I am actively receiving compliments from others without dismissing them as being unnecessary, and receiving thank yous with a sincere response – not just a “no problem” or “No.. thank you…” Now, I find myself saying things like “It was my pleasure.” and “You’re welcome!” and “Thank you.”
Sometimes, when I find myself slipping back into old patterns, I will remind myself that sometimes I need to give others the gift of giving to me. I have mastered the art of giving…now I am mastering the art of receiving.
There are reasons why we do what we do, and when we acknowledge to others that we appreciate their offerings and their gifts, it is only rational that we acknowledge our offerings and gifts too. When we accept compliments, thank you’s, we in fact are accepting ourselves! And validating others in the process. Imagine that!
And so, as I actively work on this, and embark on my own self-acceptance journey, I find that I am expressing gratitude more readily, love more fluently and true appreciation more sincerely. Interestingly enough, the last paragraph in “Eat Pray Love” struck a chord with me. And I realized how we can never finish being grateful. That every day, every moment of our lives, there WILL be something or someone to be grateful for. Expressing our gratitude has no beginning or end…it goes on forever. I now have the awareness that in every moment of everyday there WILL be something or someone to be grateful for AND in every moment of everyday there WILL be someone or something grateful for me! What a remarkable concept!
Elizabeth Gilbert sums up her appreciation and gratitude for the love and support of others in this way:
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it is just wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”
If everyone in the world expressed their thanks every day to someone, true HAPPINESS would infect the world! And the world could really use more of that!