Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Gratiglect

I just invented that word : Grat-i-glect : The neglect of gratitude. Not being thankful often enough. A sin of omission.

As pert of my Lenten devotionals, I have been spending some time trying to be conscious of things in my life for which I should give thanks.

The first problem I discovered is that I did have to build this into my day, or it was not happening. I was guilty of gratiglect. I was not thanking God for His many mercies and abundant grace on a regular basis. So my life ended up spinning toward difficult thoughts instead of having built in a balance, a background against which the tougher things in life could be considered and handled.

That made my life an odd drawing of stick figures and buildings with no ground to stand on and no sky to look up to. No wonder it felt off-kilter.

Gratitude is the foundation. It is the bedrock. The earth. It is Ground Zero. It is the "go-to" place when no other place is. "Help" is not the only prayer. "Thank You" is the first prayer.

When I feel horrible, gratitude seems foolish, trivial, Pollyanna-esque. When I am sad, angry, confused, depressed -- gratitude seems inconsequential, unimportant, namby-pamby.

But the point is, gratitude is essential. There is no perspective without it. Try it. Right now. Despite how foolish it may or may not feel to you. Here is what I suggest:

1. Sense how you are feeling for a few seconds. Don't judge it, just feel it.

2. Write down 10 things for which you are thankful. They can be large or small. But there MUST be 10. If it is hard, there still must be 10.

3. Write down 2 more.

4. Read your list and take a breath.

5. Check in again about how you feel -- any subtle changes? Pay attention through the day. Let yourself linger over the list in your mind once or twice. Let it change the edges of things.

I am finding that gratitude is enabling positive action for me -- action that was mired down without it. Talk to me, dear ones, about gratitude and how you build it in, or not...

My goal now is to have a thanks-to-God moment right before I sleep and as soon as I awake.

Even before coffee :-)

1 Comments:

Anonymous evelyn said...

Thank you for the reminder! I LOVE your new word. Whenever I start feeling "not quite right", a gratitude list will certainly bring a ray of sunshine into my cloudy disposition!

3:52 PM  

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