grateful · journey · lessons · self discovery · writing

Gratitude Letter

I was watching a morning news show earlier & they spoke with a Harvard Professor who teaches a course in happiness. One of the assignments is to write a letter of gratitude to someone you haven’t shared it with before. That has stayed with me for the last few hours.

I have been practicing gratitude much more consistently lately. When I recognize that I am spending too much time on something that is worrying or negative, I try to actively think of what the good parts are instead. Think what you will but it has helped me a lot. I also try to share with the people in my life how grateful I am for them. I want people to know how much I appreciate their presence in my life.

I decided to write my letter here because this is a letter I won’t send for any number of reasons. I found and embraced the blessings quite a while ago but until I saw that piece on TV, I never thought to write it out. Since it will not be seen by the person it is intended for maybe in the end, it is more a thank you to God, and perhaps the universe.

You,

It’s been a long time but based on life, circumstances and time I haven’t let you know how grateful I am for the chapter in our lives we shared. Sharing some of the most precious gifts and lessons I learned from and with you feels right.

I am incredibly grateful that I felt completely seen and accepted for who I am. I know that others have and do love me but you entered my life at the exact right time. As you know a few years earlier, I realized that I honestly had no idea who I really was. I went into therapy and did a lot of work in order to discover myself. I was both powerful and still so fragile at the same time. When we met, I was probably the most vulnerable I had ever felt. Your presence allowed me to feel things I had read and learned about but had never experienced before. I learned what true intimacy was and gained a personal cheerleader. The person who was always encouraging especially in the times when I felt adrift. You were willing to call me out when I needed to be called out. The way it was done allowed me to see the thoughts or actions that needed to be reviewed. I never felt chastised or defensive.

For our time together, it felt as though we were both teacher and student to each other. There was a special balance that we created that allowed us both to grow. I will forever be grateful for the time we had.

In hindsight, I am also grateful for the hard lessons I learned. The grieving process I needed to work through. For a long time, I felt as though my process would never end, it went on so much longer than I thought it should. Until I could find my back to gratitude from the sadness and loss, my work wasn’t done. It was probably one of the hardest things I have ever worked through but I did it. When I was finally able to figure out that I needed to look at myself, my emotions, my anger, my sadness, decisions and accountability instead of the million scenarios I had created for you, I could finally clearly see the gifts and lessons our time together left for me.

I had hoped that our story would be long and end the way fairy tales do. Although that is not what happened, it was such an important chapter, I knew you were the one I needed to write a gratitude letter to.

I wish you peace above all things. Happiness, love, joy and more beautiful memories than you can imagine. I hope that you have been able to share your vulnerability with with the people who deserve it. I hope you do not just listen to what others say and what they think. I pray you still believe in your personal truth and trust your gut.

Simply – thank you

With gratitude,

me


Final thought –

When things end, it is usually emotional and often one or both are hurt. More often than not, the last memories are pain and sadness. The longer we are allowed to walk this earth, the more likely there are significant people who join our personal journey. Some stay till the end and others for a time. Focusing on the gifts and lessons these people provide feels like a much more fitting way to remember than sadness.

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