Growing, Not Dying

Welcome to my insights, ponderings, and experiences. Hopefully they will enrich you in some small way, or at least make you laugh.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Kiss My Trash and Other Ways to Say Thank You

This week I have learned another great lesson on gratitude. You may have heard me talk on "love" before, that's it's not just a feeling, its a verb- an action. Love is what you do. I have come to realize that gratitude is more than a feeling as well. It is what we do that shows and tells of how grateful we really are.

Several weeks ago I had some friends who needed a place to stay. I was happy to help them out. I was grateful to be able to do something, pay it forward so to speak. They got an apartment and moved about 10 days ago. Yesterday, I went over to paint a room and discovered that my friends, whom I expected to be grateful for the help, had left the place quite dirty. In fact, the dishes we had lent them were sitting in the sink dirty, bags of garbage were in several rooms and piled in the driveway, and the blankets we lent them were sitting rotting wet in the washer. It stank and was filthy. Needless to say, I was not pleased. My mother, my kids and myself cleaned for a few hours before we could start on the painting.

At first I was angry. Then I recognized I was hurt. After contemplating it, tonight I am not happy, but I am grateful for the lessons I have learned.

Years ago I found a children's book that is so appropriate here. (I forgot the title and wish I owned it.) It is a story of an angel preparing to go to Earth. He is asked what he would like to learn. After some contemplation the angel decides he would like to learn "forgiveness" so his friend, another angel, says he will go down as "hate." The first angel is surprised and asks why his friend would choose to become something so ugly. His friend replies that he loves him and the first can only learn forgiveness if he is hurt. However, the second does ask a favor of the first, to remember that they are both angels and they are friends. The second realizes he will not remember his true nature once he gets into the character of "hate." He also asks the first to help him remember who is really is.

So I have decided that these friends dressed up as "inconsiderate," to help me see all the times in my own life I have failed to show more gratitude in my actions, to remind me of how I could be better. After all, saying it is nice, but then if it is not followed with actions that back it up, it is just nice words. Talk is cheap and actions speak volumes.

If I have failed at some time to thank you for something, know I appreciate you and will do better in the future. Thank you.


Anonymous Amy said...

WOW! Talk about taking lemons and making lemonade. I would be so livid if someone did that to me. What a wonderful way to look at someones "inconsiderate" behavior and using it to grow. I have a tendency to just roll around in the anger and hurt, but it certainly doesn't make me feel better. Thanks for showing me another way. :-) You're great!

Tue Jul 31, 01:22:00 AM MDT  

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