There are so many gifts we are given that are easily taken for granted. We are so caught up in the “what we need” that we forget just what it is that we have. The needs and the haves are different for each individual. Why one side is feasting while others down the road are starving – as much as we try to understand – we truly have no clue.

We all feel some sense of gratitude about some parts of life. But it’s the verbalizing of this gratitude which we let slip away. I am sure people will deny ever failing to express gratitude.  

Some people pray to their higher power with words written by others and read them quickly to get through the task.  

Think of it like a little kid when their guardian says, “Say thank you.” They put on an angry face and say in a deep and quick pace, “Thankyou.”

“Thank yous” become a reflex reaction like a knee jerk. You are given something that is priceless and you say, “Thank you.”

A sports player excels and points at the sky and says, “Thank you.” But when they fail do they express gratitude for at least being given the chance?

A child is fed, clothed, housed and educated for their first 18 years or so of their lives and they say countless, “Thank yous.” But do they ever truly sit back and think about just what it is they are saying thank you for?

Middle of the night wake ups, constant meals, shelter, entertainment, medical treatment, clothing, a bed, unconditional love, support and education in all facets of life. Not until they are grown up and they begin to care for children do they realize the amount of physical and mental energy, time and self sacrifice that goes into the process.

We take so much for granted in life that we forget the gifts given to us upon birth. Lets just bring out the five senses that people are given. Sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.

Sight

Beauty in all its forms – nature’s extremes – lightening, snow blizzards and a clear cool evening sky. A blossoming tree, a flower and the green grass decorated with autumn colored leaves from a dark bark colored tree. A child learning and smiling, their first steps and watching them as they transform into adults and parents of their own. The ability to look into the eyes of your partner in this world and being privy to her soul…

Sound

The sound of a newborn baby crying, the sounds of music, her whisper and the crickets singing on a summer’s night. An inspiring sermon, speech or address. Thunder, laughter and

the three words, which in any language, can bring about an explosion of a million emotions – I love you.

Touch

The first touch of your hand in hers, her lips, her hair and her arms wrapped around you. A baby’s hand wrapped around your finger, soft to the touch sweaters in the fall and then the sand on your feet as the sun heats up your skin. Sitting in a cozy chair after a long day and the feeling of a soft pillow at the end of the day.

Smell

The smell of a bakery in the predawn hours, coffee brewing and the scent of your woman. The air on a cool winters evening when you can smell the firewood burning all around you and the smell of the grass in the morning after an evening of rain. Soft perfume and the smell of her hair…

Taste

The taste of anything with sauce and cheese, chocolate, hot bread and a good cup of coffee. Chocolate chip cookies dipped in hot chocolate and a big rib steak fresh off the grill. Captain Crunch, Yodels and Oreo cookies…

Can you imagine how blessed you are to possess any of these senses? In the United States there are over a million people who are legally deaf, eight million are legally blind, 25 percent have no sense of taste and 2 percent have no sense of smell or are paralyzed with no sense of touch.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an essay about being grateful for everything you have. But I think in order to truly feel grateful you must express it sincerely internally and then externally.

To express a meaningful thank you, you must first understand just what it is you are saying thank you for. Subconsciously or perhaps consciously – expressing gratitude to another can hint of an admission that one is less than the person on the giving end. That is never the case. 

Accepting is an act which acknowledges one’s acceptance of love and humility. How can one be secure without accepting that they are far from complete, far from perfect? If one expects perfection from themselves they will always fall short. If one believes they are complete – what else is left to achieve?

In addition – if one expects perfection from others then no one can ever measure up to their expectations. If one believes that another person is complete then they also believe that fallibility and improvement is impossible.

Look into the eyes of someone you love and remember how they have stood by you through the good times and the bad. Do the memories bring back pain that causes you to feel anger and resentment towards them because they remind you of those very difficult times in your life?

Try and remember they were not the reason for the pain – they provided the strength and guidance for you when you were lost in the dark. Feel the gratitude towards them within yourself. Then tell them just how thankful you are for them and feel the gratitude as you express it.

Let me know how you feel once you express yourself – I am curious to hear your thoughts.