“Let us be thankful to the people who bring us happiness; they are charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
— Marcel Proust
I saw this quote and it conjured up so many feelings. So many feelings of gratitude.
For me, gratitude starts with the basics—my husband and daughter. The trio is indeed close and spending time as a family is how I recharge, remain happy and stay centered. Because of them, I am fulfilled and complete. And, we are fortunate to have closeness with our extended families. Whether or not we see the world in the same way or not, we are connected and always look out for one another. Our love has no strings and no boundaries. And for that, I am truly grateful.
Friends are another source of gratitude. I have always believed we only need one good friend. If we have more, it’s a bonus. It’s important to be around people who want the best for us, are kind and thoughtful and make us feel special. And, for me, the best way to encourage this is by being discerning about who to allow in. From there, I choose to see the positive in others and filter out the rest. We all have our faults and weaknesses and if we choose to focus on those things, life becomes tainted and a little bit more gray. If we choose to see good intentions and be thankful for what we receive versus what we may have not gotten, life becomes brighter and so, in turn, do we. Like a garden, some friends are like annuals and some are perennials. It’s important to make sure to cultivate, value and plant the perennials. A garden with deeper roots will always last longer and be more fragrant.
Lastly, I try to find joy with every situation and every person I come across. It’s not always easy, but it has become my purpose and desire to show up in a way that makes others feel good. I have learned that this truly feeds my soul and allows me to be positive, humbled and appreciative. I have found that smiling also takes you a long way. By smiling through work, errands, obligations, volunteerism, cleaning, cooking, etc., I stay thankful as there are many people who cannot even partake in these activities. (I say this because my father was disabled for most of my life so I try to keep complaining to a minimum.) Even work is a privilege so we should feel honored to have the opportunities we have on good days and bad.