I often think about how grateful I am for people in my life when I’m not with them. I know that sounds weird, but it happens all the time.
I will be at work and I’ll start thinking about all that my husband does for our family and how much I appreciate him. I make a note to “make sure I tell him that later”.
But I rarely do.
Not because I change my mind, but because a million things come up before then, and honestly, I forget.
Being a therapist, one thing I hear often is how unappreciated people feel from their family and friends.
They pour their heart and love out on others, and often feel like it goes without being acknowledged.
Listen, I don’t think we should do nice things for people so that we get praise. That’s not what this is about.
What I do want to bring attention to is the fact that many people have unexpressed gratitude in their heart that someone in their life could really, really benefit from hearing.
Many of us feel grateful, but don’t tell people in nearly enough.
I don’t know why, exactly. I think sometimes we don’t want to tell them because we are also aware of the places that they fall short in our eyes, and by us saying how grateful we are for them, it might feel like we are overlooking the things they do that we don’t like.
Or maybe we don’t want to express gratitude because it signifies that we rely on them and that might be a scary feeling for some people.
Maybe we just simply don’t know how to share the words of gratitude because we never had it modeled to us.
I don’t know why we don’t- but it’s obviously a thing because so many people don’t feel like they are appreciated, even when they really are.
Good news is, this is a fairly easy fix.
It starts with each of us taking the time to tell those we love that we are so grateful for them. We can tell them with our voice, in a card, in a text, or any other way.
We can point out how they have sacrificed and given to us and how helpful it’s been, and how we appreciate their consideration.
We can speak life into their hearts to let them know that we see their kindness. It will go a very long way.
But friends, don’t leave gratitude and thankfulness unexpressed in your heart.
It was never meant to sit in there or be kept to yourself.
It will change you and the person you are sharing it with.
Gratitude is something we should be proclaiming, to the people in our life, and of course to God.
I challenge myself and anyone else who struggles with this to go out of our way to share our gratitude with those who we feel grateful for, right when we feel it.
Tell them thank you.
Tell them you see them.
Tell them you love them.
Tell them you appreciate them.
Because life is short and we never want to look back and wish that we had told someone how grateful we were for them.
We never want to wait until they are gone and it’s too late to point out how what they did really mattered in our life.
Let’s make this a daily practice.
Let’s live with thankful hearts.
~Kelli Bachara, The Unraveling Blog