Being Truly Grateful: The Time I Compared Gratitude to Eggs and Found the Reasons I'm Grateful
There are so many different ways to make eggs: sunny side up, scrambled, deviled, hard boiled, poached, omeleted, quiche-ed, nogged. The same goes for gratitude. You could cook gratitude up for small wonders, big ideas, everyday happenings, once in a life time experiences, people you love, people you don't like.
You could make eggs in whatever different way you choose but one thing will always be the same... you've got it crack it open to get to the good stuff. No one wants to eat the shell.
The same goes for gratitude.
While I understand the idea of listing things we are grateful for, of keeping a gratitude journal, I think these ideas have taken away from the real meaning of gratitude. I could list many small things that I'm grateful for without much thought:
I could also list BIG things I'm grateful for that would be pretty uniform among the lips of many married mothers or 33-year-olds like me:
See? It took me no time at all to whip up these lists. But is that really being grateful? Is that really the idea behind gratitude?
Is that really cracking open gratitude?
I have recently mastered the art of scrambled eggs. And what I realized was holding me back before in my mastering of eggs, wasn't that I didn't add enough ham or cheese or peppers or milk. I had all of the ingredients; I had enough. I just wasn't giving it the time it deserved. I was throwing it all on the pan with a high flame and hoping it would happen fast.
I think I've done the same for gratitude. I think, like many things in a rapid fire, technologically advanced, now, please... NOW culture, we've come to think that gratitude works the same way. That if we just throw in the ingredients we've got, it'll amount to something. It might amount to something alright... it just might not sit well for very long.
Yes, gratitude is about being grateful for the gifts we've received, whatever we believe those gifts to be but the second part - the most important part of gratitude - is to really take the time to understand why we are grateful for those gifts. To get past the shell, otherwise, we risk never really getting to the yolk - the center, the protein, the fat of it, the part that nourishes, the reason we're grateful.
In such a fast moving, one minute egg culture, it's easy to want to take shortcuts; shortcuts that will give us more time, to do more things on our long list of things to do, but maybe, we should let some things simmer. Maybe by letting our gratitude eggs simmer, we discover the real taste of gratitude.