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Friday Musings: With Deeper Thanks (Part 2)

Friday Musings: With Deeper Thanks (Part 2)

I’ve often considered gratitude to be a unique emotion. I thought it was because it was something that we could both perceive and express in the sense that we can feel thankful and we can say thank you. I wrote a post about that very idea, in fact, about 18 months ago and I reprised it back at the beginning of May. But gratitude is not the only emotion that can be both felt and expressed. Pain is that way; after all, we can feel hurt and we can hurt others. And love is certainly that way, so gratitude’s sense of uniqueness for me cannot really be found in the give and take aspect of it. I know that I think about gratitude a lot these days because I have been blessed with so much that is good, especially in the last year, and because I have learned that approaching each day from the perspective of being thankful can truly be life-changing. But what is it that makes me want to know so much more? I decided to do some research and I discovered that gratitude is what experts call a social emotion in that it forces us out of our own heads, even if just momentarily. It almost always involves another human being who has done something wonderful for us. We feel a wave of thankfulness wash over us that can be big enough to almost knock us off our feet. Sometimes we see the wave coming. It’s our birthday and we are enveloped in celebration and we are grateful. Other times it may be something unexpected that happens, like a random act of kindness extended by a stranger, or a sweet gesture from someone who loves us enough to know it was just what we needed. Even when we are thankful for something that is non-human like a house, or a job, or a situation, we express our thanks to some agent of giving outside of ourselves, like fate or God or the universe.

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Friday Musings: With Deepest Thanks

Friday Musings: With Deepest Thanks

When you think of the idea of gratitude, do you consider it to be an emotion or an action? We can certainly feel grateful, so that definitely puts it into the emotion category for me, but we can also give thanks, making it an action too. I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude lately, especially the ways in which feeling it can so drastically improve our lives for the better. There’s been an entire gratitude movement happening for a while now. We’re told that we should write down 3 things that we’re grateful

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