What are you grateful for?Nov 22, 2022
by Danielle Roessle, LCSW, GCDFI, CCSP, Founder of Inner Compass Coach
I've been thinking a lot about gratitude this Thanksgiving. Especially as a look at the picture that hangs in my bathroom that a friend made for me that says, “What are you grateful for?” (pictured above).
Gratitude has been a big theme for me this year because it's been an antidote to healing some wounds of my past.
To provide some context, I was bullied as an elementary school student. Because of the wounds I carried from years of peer abuse, I have a pattern of closing myself off to others. Even as an adult, I can turn inward when I’m feeling sad, lonely, or frustrated for whatever reason.
One of the best ways I find out my childhood wounds is gratitude — sharing words of affirmation, my money (I've gotten into the habit of tithing or giving a portion of my salary to charity), and acts of service to others, just to provide some examples. The reason gratitude has been such an antidote for me is because it helps me refocus my feelings, thoughts, and behaviors outward (to something positive).
I'm not saying that gratitude becomes a bypass for processing my pain, but it certainly is an incredible tool to shift my focus when I notice my old patterns of withdrawing from others creep in.
For example, with my friends and family, when I focus on gratitude, I see all the love and support, and it opens my heart v. separating from others because I'm focused on my opinions or judgements. With my business, when I think about my gratitude toward my mentors, cheerleaders, supports, and clients, I feel carried v. being on an island by myself.
Whether it be sitting down and thinking about what you are grateful for, to sharing a wall of love on your social media platforms, to donating time and money, to making cookies for someone, I suggest doing what feels authentic to you to express your gratitude.
When you spend time in gratitude, what do you notice happens with your mind, body, and heart? Do they expand? Do you notice your thoughts and behaviors shifting like I do?
Even as I’m writing this email, I am noticing my heart opening up and my body expanding.
I want to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.
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