It seems important that we ask “What is gratitude”? Where does gratitude come from? Can anybody find gratitude? Is gratitude derived from giving or receiving, or both? These questions and the answers may offer us significant directions along our journeys and pathfinding to gratitude.
If we consider the event of dying as a stimulus, for example, has does knowing one is dying trigger the feeling of gratitude? Or, if we feel deeply moved during a beautiful sunset, or when proudly watching our young child perform a speaking part in a school play, or watching a dog scratch his back on the grass, from where does this emotion we call gratitude come? Gratitude is an emotion of thankfulness. It feels good. It is a form of pleasure, and positivity in life. It may be related to a positive mood, or memorable action, or creative idea. Gratitude has also been described as a spiritual discipline, or a grateful heart.
Today, I ponder from where these feelings deep within us are drawn, I.e. through a smile, or a friendship, or clean water to drink from a rippling brook, or a special childhood memory, or being able to pay one’s bills, or provide food instead of facing food insecurity, and more. When I googled these questions, I found that gratitude is sometimes described as a “moral virtue”. Thus, I reflected on the source of my own values and morals and recall that my mother was very instrumental in molding me, my character, my outlook on life, and my belief system, and for her teachings I am very grateful.
My mother, Marian Elsie Blake, was a woman way ahead of her times. Her story began in the 1920’s and lasted until 2007. Marian was the perfect Minister’s wife who wrote poetry for births, funerals, the church, her family, her gardens, and even our government. Marian was a mother of four, grandmother, oil painter, seamstress, songwriter, musician, gardener, and, poet. She is a symbol for a bygone era. After her passing, I found more than 100 poems around her house on napkins, stashed in drawers, in her pockets, in notebooks and typed. In her honor, my son and I published her poetry, A House Inside of Me (2013) (available on Amazon.com).
I am so grateful to my mom for instilling a solid moral, value based foundation within me – my “moral virtue stream” which overflows daily from within. This stream has changed my life as I appreciate what I have now versus what I do not have. My glass is half full, not half empty. My mother provided me a “well”, a “fountain” from which I may tap at any time to find the most powerful of inspirations, the most blessed of aspirations, to perceive our simple blessings, beauty, and miracles daily in life. Along this journey, my wish is to share this “stream”with you as we give gratitude, and pass it on through gratitude squared.
This is #gratitudeultra. See post on February 28, 2021 for definitions of categories of gratitude.