Gratitude can be steely and cold, a defense built with overtones of superiority and pity.
“We are so blessed! (Imagine what it would be like to be poor _________________ )”
Tangled in entitlement this gratitude pulls tight against bitterness. Snaps harshly on the palate.
“Why me? (Why not _____?)”
It is often fear’s mask. A feeling of relief and terror, tight white fingers keeping your body from falling off the ledge. Gratitude carries a full bodied taste, power and strength. (I’m so grateful I didn’t die!)
Tears and pain pour into the gratitude of vulnerablity. A beseeching, delicate white sauce that can get sticky, sour and curdle, or glide into a heavenly pairing with a firm, delicate soul. (“Thank you for not killing me – Stockholm Syndrome-ish” or “Thank you for not leaving me yet I will break when you do I can’t live without you I love you so much”)
Gratitude is sparkling birthday candles and sprinkles on donuts. It’s a toddler, pointing at everything she recognizes, sharing her glee at the mutual recognition and the novelty.
A blue sky!
The smell of rain on pavement in the summer.
The taste of pebbles in your mouth.
The fit of my chin over the top back curve of my 9-year old’s head.
Chocolate and coffee at sunrise.
And love. There’s the gratitude of love.
So here’s the boring realization. It’s so obvious it sounds cliche. But I need to remind myself often. I have to accept all flavors of all emotions. Resisting or judging them only pushes them out of my line of vision, it blinds me, it pushes the real Suzy back and builds something artificial in her place.
Gratitude is not about not experiencing other emotions. It’s not about being strong. It’s not even always about love.
(I am really grateful for my my coffee and my awesome FEMARA this morning! No dry eyes, no drowsiness and …. wait a minute. What day is today? Am I supposed to pick up Delphine somewhere?)
Hugs to you.