In honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I decided to repost one of my absolute favorite posts from November 2012. A little blast from the past to remember just how gratitude works, especially as we are now planning the details for our wedding. Enjoy!
today, i am grateful for...
Nestled neatly on his desk, amongst the papers, pens and picture frames, my sweetheart keeps a daily calendar. A beloved Christmas present from my dad, the calendar contains daily quotes from NBC's "The Office." The other day, as we were flipping through the previous weeks' moments of pure Office hilarity, we hit upon this gem. Now, to be totally honest, I have no idea what happened here or what episode it's from, but something in the interaction spoke deeply to me.
I have a dirty little secret (other than the 15 mini candy bar wrappers I threw away in the dumpster this morning... whoops, did I just share that?!). Sometimes, I seriously suck at communicating.
Just two days ago, over dinner, my honey and I experienced our own little version of Pam and Oscar's conversation (...in this case, I'd be Oscar). Here's how it played out (the short version... the long version is a sad and drawn-out mess of communication dysfunction, on my part).
I am overwhelmed. Don't say anything. I am stressed. Don't say anything. Phone rings, texts beep, remember I had forgotten to send an email, overwhelming feeling increases. Don't say anything. Honey asks for a favor, I say yes. Still don't say anything. Go oddly quiet. Honey knowingly asks what is wrong. I explode in a snotty mess of tears. He asks me to share, patiently waiting while I work through the spectrum of emotions. I blame, accuse, collapse and finally admit... he wraps his arms around me. I sob, forcing out the words: 'I don't know how to share.'
He, of course, knows this already.
Don't get me wrong, most days, I'm on my communication game. My honey and I work in unison, opening up, growing in loving honesty, cultivating gratitude for one another and our partnership. We are 3 steps ahead, seeing potential problems, sharing with vulnerability. I catch my partner's pass, respond with compassion, see where our relationship needs to grow and make it happen.
But some days... I am not. And, to be totally honest, the same can be said of my partner. We fumble. We miss a pass. Or worse... there are days when we don't even show up for the game. It's on days like this that we have to revisit the game tape and figure out where we went wrong.
It's days like this when I am grateful for the gift of forgiveness.
I am deeply inspired by my friends and family who are using this month leading up to Thanksgiving as a time to cultivate gratitude. Whether it's through pictures on Instagram, statuses on Facebook, or the fundamental act of cultivating gratitude in real-time (hint, hint, life-changing stuff), I am encouraged, enlivened and inspired by the life-giving fruits of appreciation and thanksgiving. As Brene Brown writes, "Practicing gratitude is how we acknowledge that there's enough and that we're enough."
Today, I am grateful for the deeply personal gift of forgiveness. I am grateful for a partnership where commitment, compassion and trust encourage us through the sometimes messy work of growing in relationship with one another. I am grateful for my relationships with family and friends, created on the foundation of unconditional love and open to growth and change. I am so thankful for their continual love, support and strength. Especially on those days that I don't show up as my best self... and even on those days that I do.
What about you, my dear friends? What are you grateful for today?