“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.” ~Melodie Beattie
Have you ever returned to a restaurant, set on recreating the pleasure and satisfaction you enjoyed from a previous meal there, only to be disappointed? Or looked forward to listening to your three-year-old nephew laughing and telling you he loved you again, and then he wouldn’t even get on the phone? Or, after a string of brilliant blue-sky days, woken up to the disappointing downpour of a dark, rainy day?
It’s easy to set ourselves up for disappointment with our great expectations. When we tell ourselves, “this is how I want it to be,” anything else can disappoint. And this anticipating what will be good gets in the way of tuning in and tasting what is actually available in the moment.
If, instead, we are willing to let each moment surprise us, we can more easily experience what is there to be tasted or heard or felt. And then, when we find ourselves in a moment that feeds us—be it good company, satisfying food, or a warm bed—our awareness of this experience leads to gratitude. And gratitude becomes the ultimate antidote to our unmet great expectations.
Gratitude bolsters us for the occasions when we do not feel nourished, when we are disappointed, when we suffer. Mindfully savoring and appreciating our moments of nourishing connections helps us to endure less satisfying or even painful times. Gratitude enables us, without grasping or rejecting, to ride the waves of yumminess and yuckiness.
Heading into summer, with its vacation gatherings and graduation, wedding, and holiday celebrations, we may find ourselves at a table with our great expectations. We will get a taste of some things we like and some things we don’t like. Take them all in, and allow your awareness of the nourishing moments—tasting the sweet, satisfying crunch of corn on the cob, seeing the sun slip into the bay, finishing the 1000-piece puzzle with your sister, riding the Ferris wheel with your nephew—to fill you with sustaining gratitude.
Affirming Statement: “I am grateful.”
Nutrition therapists Amy Tuttle, RD, LCSW and Karin Kratina, RD, PhD provide no-diet articles and resources including “Stay Attuned: The E-zine for Nourishing Connections” at their Nourishing Connections website. www.nourishingconnections.com