Say 'Thank You'
I recently watched a poignant movie called 2Hearts, based on a true story which I highly recommend to you. However, I strongly advise that you have a box of tissues handy. You may need some or the whole box! The story tells two parallel love stories of two couples who are both 'happily ever after' narratives. Except one of the guys as he narrates his story, then backtracks to tell us that the fairy-tale ending is not quite what happens. In fact, he suffers some sort of brain injury and his family have to make the difficult decision to shut off life support. After painful deliberation, they consent to donate his body organs as he'd wanted.
The other couple’s story was a little different in that the guy had a congenital lung disease so at the end of the film, these two scenarios meet up and intersect. Sorry, but for the sake of your tissue box and a really good cry (which I personally think is a good thing sometimes), I won’t give any more away. Let me say; however, that it is about giving and receiving and a good outcome, even amid heartfelt pain and sorrow. It ends with how an amazing (and true) ripple effect, impacted many lives for good.
Giving and receiving, that’s what being thankful is about. And it happens to both parties, that’s what the interesting psychological studies tell us in fact.
The Gottman Institute in the States, has studied marriages, along with what predicts divorce or successful marriages. Apparently, it takes five positives or blessings or acts of gratitude and only one withdrawal or complaint each day, to create a long-lasting happy and successful marriage. Wow! How many times have I thanked my husband today? (Mmm, darling…?). This statistic brings this relationship topic a little closer to home, doesn’t it?
If you find your default often slides to criticism or focusing on the lack then think again. Perhaps you already do the right thing and notice good and express gratitude for kindnesses done to you then may I say to you, great job, you’re doing the best thing for your marriage, your spouse, your kids and your longevity. Yes, it is amazing that saying 'thank you' actually impacts your health outcomes.
So, in thinking further about gratitude, let me give you a couple of hints that I have discovered on my research journey into being thankful relationships. Being thankful can include: firstly, counting your blessings each day and secondly, to live in the moment rather than the 'what ifs' and 'what nots'. I find it interesting that in Exodus 3:5 it talks about taking off your shoes on holy ground. May I suggest that we take off our shoes on the holy ground or in the moment when we say thank You to God. And to appreciate others by saying thank you to them: to our spouse, kids, parents, friends, neighbours and any people that help us in any way. Yes, let’s appreciate them in the holy moment of — right now!
Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Catholic Benedictine monk who bridges the gap between faith, science and interfaith dialogue has been talking up gratitude for many years and I love his catchphrase that says: ‘grateful eyes look at whatever it be as if they had never seen it before and caress it as if they would never see it again,' isn’t that something else?
I want to be in the moment or rather in every moment, saying thank you to others, recognising others’ input into my life but also thanking God whose input in our lives is never-ending.
And the wonderful thing about gratitude, is that it spreads.
It’s a pretty simple way to live.
Once again, thank YOU for reading and supporting me.
I appreciate it enormously.
Need to be relaxed to be able to thank others? 'De-stress God’s Way' could help you get practical strategies. Fortnightly De-stress God's Way online group coaching for ways to be peaceful about your relationships and conversations.
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