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  • Writer's pictureHaulwen Nicholas

A story about real gratitude

There was once a woman who complained about having to be grateful for things, she said this to a friend one day as they were sat on a bench together and exclaimed that she saw it as a trend to use gratitude to help with manifesting. She tried it but it didn't work for her, so she decided it was a load of "woo woo" rubbish. The friend looked at their watch saying they needed to dash, and left the woman stewing in her own frustrations.

A wise woman heard her words and she smiled to herself, and she went over to her and asked her to tell her what she was doing.

The woman was happy to have someone to complaint to and she said everyday she woke up and wrote down 10 things she was grateful for in her journal. She did this everyday for 6 months and she said she felt no better for it, she felt no worse for it but it made no difference to her life in anyway.

The wise woman asked her what she would say she was grateful for each day and she said " I have a list" - I write it out each day and it's the same each day. Her list was:

I am grateful for my house

I am grateful for my food

I am grateful for my work

I am grateful for my health

I am grateful for my husband

I am grateful for my family

I am grateful for being warm

I am grateful for having money

I am grateful for my clothes

I am grateful for clean water

Each day she wrote these words and she ticked off this task on her to do list. She'd been grateful and now she could get on with her day.

The wise woman smiled at her and asked "Why those things, why the same each day" and the woman responded " well because I should be grateful for these things because others don't have them"

The wise woman asked her " do you love your house"

The woman responded " gosh, no I hate it, its rented, its damp. If it was mine I'd refurbish it. I love the location but the house I hate. Its not what i want"

The wise woman nodded and asked " do you love your food"

The woman responded laughing "not really, I just eat ready meals or whatever is to hand, I am too busy to cook"

The wise woman nodded and asked "do you love your work"

The woman but her head in her hands and said " I hate it, its draining and tiring I find it a real chore. I wish I could do something else"

The wise woman nodded and asked " how is your health"

The woman responded " I ache and I am tired, I have brain fog and I struggle to be motivated. The doctors don't know what's wrong with me and I'm fed up"

The wise woman nodded and asked "do you love your husband"

The woman went red " of course I love my husband"

The wise woman nodded and asked " "do you love your family"

The woman huffed " well, of course I do" she was starting to get irritated with the wise woman questions.

The wise woman nodded and asked "you say you are grateful for being warm and for your clean water"

The woman was growing impatient "well they are things we SHOULD be grateful for, so I am"

The wise woman nodded and she said " and the clothes you wear, you are grateful for them?"

The woman laughed " not really, look at these old rags" pulling at her dark dress.

The wise woman nodded and she said "and are you grateful for the having money?"

The woman laughed hysterically " Oh my goodness, I have so much debt I don't know whether to laugh or cry"

And the wise woman smiled and said " I know you find my questions tedious, but do indulge me for a while longer"

"tell me what does it feel like when you are thirsty and you drink clean water and it quenches your thirst"

the woman replied " oh it feels refreshing and energising, especially if it's hot and I've forgotten to drink and I take a gulp. Perhaps adding some elderflower cordial, as I prefer it with some flavour rather than on its own"

The wise woman nodded " that's real gratitude, now tell me what is your favourite item of clothing"

the woman looked into the distance and then back to the wise woman " I have a red dress, it comes to my knee and its got a full skirt which you can twirl in. I never wear it as don't want to ruin it."

The wise woman smiled " how does it feel when you wear that dress"

The woman responded blushing " Like I'm a girl again, spinning around in a cornflower meadow and the world is sunny and bright. it makes me feel confident and happy"

The wise woman nodded and said "that's real gratitude, now tell me three things you adore about your husband"

The woman looked to the wise woman with a look of realisation and with a sparkle in her eye " I love the way he cuddles our dog sitting on the lawn when he thinks no one is watching. I love the way he loses himself in music and books, I love the way he laughs at the most ridiculous things"

The wise woman nodded " that is real gratitude, tell me what you do love about the location of your home"

The woman was sitting up right her should high a smile on her face " It's down a quiet lane, we have no neighbours, the garden slopes down to a field and on the other side is a small lake. In winter mist rolls across it like ghosts, in the summer the blue sky is reflected back in it like a mirror. I can see this view from my kitchen window and I could watch it all day. It changes so much..."

Before the wise woman could speak the woman said "... and that is real gratitude" smiling and looking directly at the wise woman.

The wise woman nodded. " if we use guilt gratitude because we feel we should be grateful, it will never work for us. but real gratitude is full of power and full of love"

The woman nodded, she stood up from the old seat and looked out onto a new day full of gratitude. She closed her eyes breathed in the cool fresh air around her and turned to say thank you to the wise woman, but she had gone. She looked around wondering how she could have left so quietly, and on the seat found a single blue cornflower. Her favourite. She picked it up and looped it through the button hole on her jacket, feeling lighter and happier than she had for many years.

That is the magic of real gratitude.

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Jul 26, 2023

Love this, it made me smile ☺️

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