We recently started a feature on Thursdays in the Olderhood International Club that we call “Gratitude Day”, on which members are encouraged to write about the things they are thankful for, or post words of inspiration concerning gratitude.
This week I was inspired by an article that was posted concerning what a recently divorced man had learned about marriage entitled “Marriage Advice I Wish I Would Have Had”. Contrary to what you might think, the article was not filled with cynicism or self-pity; it is an honest admission that he had let his relationship slip through his fingers by failing to appreciate his wife and accept her “flaws and all”.
My favourite part of this article is the following:
“You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other every day… if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely ….”
Something about the words “re-choose each other” really struck a chord with me, because how often do we point a finger at a person or a situation and claim that the person or the situation is not what it used to be, never admitting that “we” ourselves have changed as well?
How often do we lose interest in a person or a project just because it has become familiar, instead of seizing the opportunity to greet each day with anticipation with our lifelong companion at our side?
How frequently do we wish we were somewhere else, with someone else, doing something else, instead of appreciating the person who stands by us while we wrestle with own inner demons?
How frequently do we ignore the fact that a life shared with another is precious gift because it is by experiencing how the light of our own selves reflects off another, that we come to know our own true nature?
So my mission for you today, if you choose to accept it, is to look at the people in your life, be they sitting across the room from you right now, or someone who has passed on, and appreciate them for what they have taught you about yourself; and for the times and the ways that your interactions with them have helped you decide what sort of a person you wanted to be.
And if you want to do something really challenging, tell that person that you appreciate them and what they helped you learn simply by enduring a difficult situation with you.
You can be thankful for a person at any point in your life, but when you express gratitude in person, you deliver a gift that warms the heart of the recipient, and reassures them that they have made the right decision “re-choosing” you as well.