Day 22: 30-Day Gratitude Challenge
A Letter for Every Reader
Thank you for being here with us. When I first embarked on the gratitude journey three weeks ago, I was slightly concerned about running out of words, and not being able to keep up with daily posts.
I'm thankful that the concept of gratitude is fuelling my writings. I wake up to each day with thanks and a fearless attitude that whatever comes my way will lead me to another journey of thankfulness.
I'm not oblivious to the fact that there are people who might read the gratitude articles and think, "It's all right for some, you don't know what I've been through, how do you expect me to be thankful? Some will think, "Who does she think she is?" There might be others who read out of curiosity, and then there will be others who genuinely find the articles encouraging. I welcome you all.
Thought I'd write a letter for every person reading this, and hope to encourage you further to take a look into your environments. Upon starting the Gratitude Challenge, I was surprised to discover that some are commercialising the term GRATITUDE. You want a buddy to go on this journey together? Pay something! How about a cute planner to help you on your trip, and good luck. Cue Disclaimer! It works for some, but I believe it's always best to find your own rhythm, and sometimes, a pretty journal won't cut it.
Fear not. You won't be charged for these writings; if anything, I'm the one who is benefiting more from taking these moments of reflection. I sincerely hope that you can glean some inspiration from these articles.
Today, I'm going to go deeper and write you a personal letter. Are you ready?
Thank you for visiting this website, and I hope that each time you grace us with your presence, you leave with the belief that things can only get better, despite the challenges you may face. If you're living your best life possible, congratulations are in the house. I hope you, too, will find something that encourages you to sustain what you already have. If you're just curious, you're in the right place also! I hope some words churned on ubuntucourtyard.com will stir something in you and help you discover what you are looking for.
As I mentioned earlier, it can be easy to become sceptical about what you read online. I was scrolling down my newsfeed on Facebook yesterday when I came across a post by Prince Ea that caught my attention. He asked people to describe how they were feeling in just one word. Thought what I thought, although I didn't write anything down. It popped from nowhere, and I was pleasantly surprised. Exquisite was the word, in case you're wondering. I then decided to check the comments to see what others had to say. It felt like opening Pandora's box. Over 90% of the 26000 comments at the time were negative. It made me realise just how easy it is to get on with our lives without having an understanding of how others are feeling. All this talk about gratitude is not going to help if you are hurting. Worse still, if you've got no one else to talk to, or even if you've got some people to talk to, they just don't get you.
Most of us have gone through steep and rough patches in life; I, too, have gone through periods where I'd cry almost every day. That smile that most people talk about once disappeared, and yes, I could write rolls and rolls of the wrongs that had led me to a place of misery. On the outside, I was thriving, but deep inside, my soul wept. However, I wasn't always like that. I grew up being what some might term as a 'free spirit'. If anyone had asked me to practice gratitude at the time of my misery- fuelled existence, I would have told them to get lost.
Forgiveness and Gratefulness
It is challenging to practice gratitude if you're hurting in some way or another. Before you can get to the point of appreciation, you have to let go of much stuff through forgiveness. I once wrote a story called The 'Sweet' Sweet Potatoes and touched on the power of letting go. The Tomato Plant series also touches on the beauty of forgiveness. Gratitude is not something that just happens; it's a conscious choice you make. Allow me to take you through a different analogy to encourage those still sitting on the fence regarding gratitude.
Forgiveness is another term that is often touted online or at many church gatherings. What worries me the most is that as much as people talk about it, they don't fully embrace and practice forgiveness. I've seen people who have been hurt by others proclaim how great God is, but when they open their mouths, their words are full of hatred: someone did something, they said something, refused to do this, called me that...the complaints never end.
I've seen sworn enemies pray for each other when they don't even like each other. I'm trying to say that we often find it easier to talk about the right concepts than practice them. Nobody is perfect, and I can tell you that I am not perfect either. However, I know that unforgiveness will rob you of any ability to appreciate what you have, let alone see the best in others.
If anyone had asked me to practice gratitude at the time of my misery fuelled existence, I would have told them to get lost.
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