How would you answer the question "Who are you?" It's a simple question that's difficult to answer because our concept of who we are usually changes over time. For example, if someone had asked me who I was when I was twenty, the answer would have been different than when I was thirty. At twenty, I would have answered, "I am a rolling stone, a nickname I acquired during my troubled teenage years. At thirty, I am a wife, mother, and student. At forty, I would have answered I am a nurse and public health administrator.
But by the time I reached fifty, gratitude journaling had introduced me to a Myrtle I didn't know, so my answer would have included some things I had learned about myself. That's the transformative power of Gratitude.
When you practice Gratitude, you become more aware of the positive things in your life, allowing you to see everything in a more positive light. In addition, Gratitude helps to introduce you to yourself.
Gratitude journaling introduced me to my strengths and qualities. It helped me realize how much I had grown and changed over time. I deeply understood my identity because it connected me with my inner wisdom and intuition. As a result, I started to trust myself more. I became more compassionate toward myself and others. I also became more mindful of the people, experiences, and things that had brought joy and happiness into my life.
I remember a holiday gathering with friends when I was in my mid-fifties, and a cousin said to me, "You sure have changed; your attitude is different. You are not as negative as you used to be." Little did he know that the Gratitude love bug had bitten me.
For years I struggled with my identity, which had much to do with childhood trauma. But what Gratitude journaling taught me was that everyone has struggles, yet we all have something to be grateful for. So I adopted a more generous and giving mindset, and my actions began to align with my values and beliefs.
Yes, Gratitude introduces you to yourself in a profound way. It helps you see the beauty and richness of your life and opens the door to self-discovery and growth. So if you ever feel lost or disconnected or want to deepen your understanding of yourself, try practicing Gratitude. As Kate Atkinson says in her book Life After Life, "Sometimes Sylvie said, one can mistake gratitude for love." Gratitude may be the key that unlocks your true potential and help you fall in love with the most important person on earth, yourself.