Oftentimes, we are told to “be thankful.” “Life” coaches and those who specialize in well-being tell us that gratitude is the foundation to happiness. People who are grateful for what they have are generally happy people or at least happier than those who do not practice gratitude.
Practicing gratitude – it sounds like practicing yoga or practicing soccer or practicing your guitar solo. You have to do it, regularly, daily and often enough to get good at it. And then you are more likely to have a desired result: be more zen and fit, be stronger and faster with the ball, providing an audience with a beautiful rendition of flawlessly.
But gratitude is something different. It’s not really physical or something you can see. It’s something that’s felt in the heart.
Ultimately, being thankful requires that you place that gratitude somewhere. “I’m thankful to my brother for helping me fix my car.” “Thank you, Mr. Smith, for the beautiful Waterford Crystal glasses in honor of our wedding.” “Thanks, Obama.” But gratitude – practicing it – actively feeling it in your heart – who or what toward?
Who are you thanking when you feel gratitude?
Obviously, many folks are thanking God. Many thank God on a daily basis for whatever it is they have or don’t have in their lives. Prayer is a form of expressing gratitude to God, among other things. But what about people who don’t pray? What about those who practice gratitude and there is not really a clear recipient of the expression of their thanks?
This is a personal and maybe even spiritual question but one that deserves attention on this wonderful holiday, one of my favorites. We focus on what we are thankful for, and that is very important. But who or what are you thanking? I believe this is just as relevant. If you don’t know, then maybe you should figure that out!
Happy Thanksgiving 🙂