Why I Don’t Participate in the 30 Days Of Gratitude Facebook Movement
If you’re hooked into Facebook, during the month of November, you’ll see loads of statuses counting down the days with things each user is thankful for. I love, LOVE seeing these statuses and knowing that folks really are trying to focus on gratitude. Yet, I don’t participate in this “movement.” Why? A little background…
I am a big, big believer in self education, self awareness and personal development. The best way I know to help accomplish these aspects is to read…a lot. I usually read at least 50 books per year. Not always working towards some higher goal, but also because I just love to read.
About five years ago, there was a personal development book that came out called “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. Of course, with an intriguing title like “The Secret”, everyone wants to know, well, what is the secret? Simply put, the secret the book focuses on is the law of attraction. “The Secret” is a bit new agey for my taste, but every major world religion talks about the law of attraction, though they don’t call it that. Eastern religions call it karma; the idea that you give what you get and you get what you give. It’s the law of reciprocation. It’s senergy. In Christianity, it’s from 2nd Timothy about the person who sows plentifully will reap plentifully. All these things add up to the same thing: the law of attraction or, as the book calls it, the secret.
One of my fav bits of “The Secret” is the chapter on gratitude. The idea is that if we “count your blessings” as the old Christian hymn says, you’ll start to see just how lucky you are. Again, whether you’re a religious person or not, this just works. The more you look for something, good or bad, well, you’ll find it…and in droves.
So anyway, it’s Thanksgiving and we’re back to the gratitude chapter in “The Secret.” Some of the great thinkers and philosophers who talk about the law of attraction discuss what they do to constantly feel gratitude. The one that sticks with me most is how a writer puts gratitude into every day and step of his life. Before he gets out of bed, he says “Thank you.” I don’t know who/what he is thanking. Is it God? Maybe, that’s personal to him. Is it the universe? Dunno, he doesn’t say. He just says, “Thank you” for the simple action of waking up. He’s not dead and he’s thankful.
Then, as he gets out of bed and puts one foot on the floor he says “Thank” and as the other foot touches the floor, he says “You.” As he walks to the bathroom, with each step, he says “Thank you.” As he’s brushing his teeth, he says, “Thank you.” By the time he’s started the day, he’s said thank you hundreds of times. I mean, what a foundation for feeling grateful every day, right?
So, I try to do this. But, I do it as soon as I wake up and with my immediate surroundings. I give thanks when I wake up for simply being alive. I give thanks for my CPAP machine as I’m taking off my mask…as anyone with sleep apnea will tell you, these machines are life savers, literally AND figuratively. I give thanks for the warmth of the blanket around me. I give thanks for my wife sleeping beside me. I give thanks for the comfortable bed in which I’m laying. I give thanks for Garrett. I give thanks for the fact I can physically feel the comfort of the bed and the blanket; i.e., that I have a fully functioning body.
Then, as I slip on my jeans, I give thanks for the material. I give thanks for the carpet under my feet, the softness of the fabric, the fact I have more than one set of clothes. Like the writer in “The Secret”, every step I take to the bathroom, I’m saying, “Thank you.”
I’m just going to start listing off my usual things I thank:
For my medications that keep me healthy, clean drinking water, indoor plumbing and the modern sewage/septic system, that I have a functioning bladder and urinary track(yeah, seriously), that I can feel the coolness of the tile under my feet and that I don’t have neuropathy, for modern medicine and dentistry that gives me the ability to eat, for the modern toothbrush, for toothpaste, for deodorant, for shampoo, for cleanliness. Then, I usually walk back in the bathroom and grab my cell phone…and I give thanks for it and for the independence it affords me.
Here’s where I usually lose that thread of gratitude: when I walk from the bedroom to the kitchen. Garrett is close on my heels and I’m still kinda sleepy, so my first thought after feeding him is getting coffee into my system. I should be thanking whoever/whatever I believe in for Garrett’s health, for his food, for the ability to have a loving Seeing Eye dog, for a clean, modern functioning kitchen complete with refrigeration and cooking abilities, etc…but, my mind usually drifts to something else. So, no biggie, next time I think of it, I just start listing off more things to be thankful for. My coffee, my fav coffee mug, clean water again, a dishwasher, my vitamins to keep me healthy, for a functional (and beautiful) home, for the Florida climate, for a fenced in back yard, for the back porch.
Okay, back to the original question: Why don’t I participate in the 30 days of thankfulness movement on Facebook? Honestly, I feel thankful most all day, most every day. Because I try to focus on the little things that make up a great life and existence, it sounds a little trite. I mean, people are listing things like: I’m thankful for my best friend’s support when my mother died. I’m thankful for my children who inspire me every day. I’m thankful for the love of my parents. I, too, am thankful for these things. Thing is, when I start to list things like toothpaste and a functioning urinary track, I don’t want it to be perceived that I’m making fun of others or I’m being flippant. I really AM thankful…for just about everything!
I truly believe in having an attitude of gratitude. This is how I do it. What about you?