Marilyn Briant is the author of The Pax Principles - a Red Ribbon Winner 2020, in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards (UK)
Why Say Thank You?
Ever since I started my spiritual journey, I have come across books and quotes that encourage me to give thanks. And over time I have discovered why. It feels good to say thank you!
Even so, for a long time I couldn't imagine being able to thank my mother. Does that seem strange? I can see that it might, because for most people this would be an easy and natural thing to do. But it was much more difficult for me because my childhood was traumatic and painful. Like so many children who are raised without love and affection, I grew up feeling worthless and unloved.
As small children, my siblings and I were ordered to do things—not asked. And I cannot remember my mother saying thank you for anything I did. Not once!
Sadly, as a result, for many years I was not able to look anyone in the eyes when spoken to. I found it hard to say a simple thank you to people, for most things. I lacked any shred of positive self-esteem. And what contributed to that was not being used to hearing thank you at home.
Unfortunately, as I grew up, I buried my pain, not realizing this would cause all kinds of relationship problems for me later in life. Only when I began reading personal development and spiritual awareness books, did I start to understand the impact of childhood imprinting.
Saying Thank You and Forgiveness
Then, as I got involved in searching for and finding the truth about myself, I became interested in forgiveness. I understood the only person I was hurting by being unforgiving and holding on to heartache and anger, was me. I decided I wanted and needed to let go of the pain.
Looking back, I realize it is probably the same for many of us. We decide we have had enough of carrying around all that hurt and pain. We reach a point where we just want to forgive the parent(s), siblings or whomever, for their abuse. We want to heal and move on.
Still, it was not that easy.
For me it was a process that began with getting to really know and then love myself—something I had never previously thought about doing. It led to recognizing that my childhood experience offered me the opportunity to know who I was not, so I could find out who I am.
This insight was critical in helping me get to the point of wanting to forgive. It allowed me to come from my heart. To feel compassion instead of anger and sadness. And, amazingly, to feel gratitude that my mother provided the circumstances from which I was able to get to know my true self!
It led to being able to forgive her. To being able to say a heartfelt thank you. To a wonderful sense of lightness and well-being. To having a weight lifted from around my neck, that felt like a miraculous release from a life-sentence in prison.
Saying Thank You Feels Good!
After that, I started saying thank you for everything in my life! Saying thank you became second nature to me. And not only that—I found every reason to write notes saying thank you too. It was impossible not to notice how good I felt inside from saying thank you!
I began to entertain the idea that feeling gratitude promotes not only a sense of well-being, but also good health. I read articles that said studies were carried out which confirmed this. I had to admit I felt stress-free and had more energy when I had that glow of appreciation inside me. And not only that, I realize that just the simple act of saying a heartfelt thank you for all that I have, consistently attracts all kinds of good things, people and circumstances into my life.
A Thank You Idea
So, here’s an idea. If you have not done so recently, why not say thank you now? If there is someone who has been especially loving and caring in your life, why not tell them or write them a note to say thank you?
And when was the last time you said thank you to your parents, husband/wife, sibling, or friend(s)? Why not do it now? And then just relax and enjoy that great thankfulness feeling! Can’t come up with anyone you want to thank right now? Then just sit quietly for a few minutes and think about it.
Is there someone who has spent time just listening to you vent? Someone who has helped you solve a problem. Someone who has been kind and generous when you needed it? Someone who gave you a thoughtful card or a gift of flowers or chocolate? A friend who is always there for you?
Even if life is difficult for us right now, there are so many small things—a warm sunny day, a friendly smile, a purring cat or sweet dog on your lap, a hug from a friend—we can appreciate. These are all things that bring us a warm feeling inside. So, I encourage you to go ahead, let the people in your life know how much you value them. And discover how good it feels to say thank you!