Words on Gratitude
by: Alisha Chapin MA BCBA
To feel gratitude, one must pay attention because it is a feeling that emerges within the present moment. I recommend putting yourself in the way of the things you love. What do you long for? When it is cold we seek warmth, when thirsty water. What are you thirsty for? Pay attention. Do not deny your longing. It holds the key to your soothing. For this moment don’t say, “I’m fine. I’ve got it. I’ve got things to do.” This too may be true. You do have it. You are wonderful. Find a moment where you can listen with “ears of small American shells” –Neruda. Listen to the soft inner call of the ocean in a sea shell. Deep inside you, in the space you open up, you will hear what is missing. It may come out as a whine, or anger. Welcome it. This voice is you. It has been cast out for its demand, or for its timing. It is your friend. Welcome it back to talk to you. It carries information about what you need, and what will soothe you. You may feel challenged or defensive by what it has to say. Whatever comes, welcome it. This my love, is you. A part of you, you have turned away from in your busy-ness. “When from our better selves we have too long been parted by the hurrying world, and droop, sick of its business, of its pleasures tired, How gracious, how benign, is solitude.” – Wordsworth, The Prelude. When you soothe the needy part of you, the lion of gratitude will raise its head from its slumber, and you will feel peace. You have given yourself, the very gift it was asking for inviting gratitude in.