Gratitude, As Powerful as a Wave

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As our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary approached, I became acutely aware of how critical I had been of my husband, Glenn, during the previous year. Although my criticism had to do with one of our businesses, my frustration and anger had spilled over into other aspects of our relationship. For nearly a year I was on edge, and I wanted to push him over it! As angry as I felt, I did not want to cause my marriage to end. What to do?

Practicing the old adage, “We teach what we need to learn,” I recalled the words I had written 3 years earlier in my book, Revolutionary Agreements:

Gratitude has to do with developing the habit of seeing what’s right rather than what’s wrong; of seeing the best in everything around us.

Somehow I had gotten into the habit of focusing on the opposite. If Glenn and I were going to be together to celebrate our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, I knew I was going to have to change my attitude. I decided to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude” and committed to writing down one thing I appreciated about him every day. Every morning I focused on what I liked about him in that moment. I built a new “habit of seeing what’s right.”

Without asking Glenn to do anything differently, my anger lifted and I found myself falling in love with him again.

Glenn didn’t know I was writing a gratitude journal dedicated solely to him. It became the perfect gift to surprise him with for our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary! Now six years later, our life together is magnificent.

While gazing at the ocean from our Kauai home, I reflected on the power of gratitude and how similar it is to an ocean wave. With beauty and subtlety, it can lighten and move the heaviest load.

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