11.24.2013

Humility and Gratitude

I can't believe that our 21 days are almost gone.
What a joy and a blessing it has been to focus on thankfulness.
Today's gratitude challenge spurred some interesting reflection. 
My initial response to not want to waste spend my time thinking about something I value about myself because it seems there's already too much me, me, ME! 
in this world.


But a few questions about this opportunity changed my mind.

1. Why do we readily share what we can't do well 
yet struggle to share what we do have to offer?
2. What is the difference between boasting 
and being humbly proud?
3. Would exchanging pride for gratitude help?

I know all too well what I'm not good at; 
to name a few these skills include but aren't limited to

Math.
Paperwork.
Sitting still.
Messing up.
Paying attention in meetings.
Housekeeping.
Being patient.
Apologizing.
Forgiving.

Some of those are hard to admit and certainly not anything I'm proud of, at all. They're something that I not only tend to beat myself up for but also feel guilty about. A lot.

The skills that I do have I either tend to take for granted or blow off with statements like, "no big deal" or "anyone could do that." 

Why is that? For me, it's because we were taught that it would be bragging to go around thinking you were all that. A small dose of healthy pride, sure, but there was no room for a big head in our house.

Then, I became a mom.
Talk about your bragging rights.

And not because my children were necessarily any different from anyone else's, 
but a child, well, that's a huge source of pride.
Then multiply it by three.
Frustration, too, of course. And angst. And worry.
And pride. 
Humble, unadulterated pride (if there is such a thing!).


I'll never forget the time I was playing cards with my sister and going on and on about the kids and what they'd accomplished and who they were becoming and my husband leaned over to her husband and asked, "Does Debra brag about her daughter all of the time, too?" Ouch!

It hurt, but it also gave me pause. And a lot to think about.
That's when it first hit me.
What if I exchanged that pride for gratitude?
What if, instead of boasting about how well they were turning out (through a mom's lens, of course), I'd reframe that pride with gratitude for the gifts that we'd be given. For the chance to raise three beautiful little beings and for the challenge to help them become 'value-able' family members, friends, and colleagues to the people who cross their paths in the world.

Gratitude.
One little word.
So simple.
Yet often so complicated.
Such a beautiful reframe.

Then, this summer, when a successful businessman in the field of chemical engineering who'd met our son on a band trip in March called to offer him a matching full-ride scholarship to the University of Texas if he'd rather go to John's alma mater and be where his sister is (instead of to the rival Texas A & M), I didn't want to share that story with too many people at the risk that it'd sound boastful. But my overwhelming gratitude to this man and his generosity toward Jacob trumped those thoughts as I shared my joy at this incredibly kind offer that further cemented my belief in and hope for human kind. 

So, to my friends at Kind Spring, my answer is that showing gratitude is one skill that I value in myself and and that I'm working to refine in who I am becoming. 
Perfecting my practice of gratitude in. all. things.
Until it becomes my superpower.
Humbly grateful.
 For my gifts.

So now it's your turn:
What skill do you most value in yourself?





1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of gratitude being a super power:)
    I think probably the skill I have that I most value is my persistence in solving puzzles that arise when I'm teaching or working on various projects.
    Have a beautiful day!

    ReplyDelete

I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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