By Linda Commito
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”—William Arthur Ward
Over 15 years ago, I started a daily gratitude journal. First thing most mornings, I write three things for which I am grateful. One lesson that I’ve learned is that the more I’ve focused on and expressed the blessings in my life, the more reasons I have to be thankful.
But strange as this may sound, last year, despite the pandemic and the craziness of our political situation, I was abundantly grateful in ways that I had not appreciated as much before. And perhaps, you too have experienced a year that was so difficult that it could only get better from there. That’s how it was for me in 2019—the most challenging year of my life due to a cancer diagnosis. And even then, I managed to express my gratitude most days: (i.e. I am grateful to be uplifted by the prayers and support of so many people, to have a loving partner, to be able to hold my dad’s hand during his passing, to enjoy the peace and quiet of my home, and I am grateful for feeling better today and trusting that the chemo is doing its positive job of eradicating any remaining cancer cells from my body…)
And now, at one year of being cancer-free and feeling healthy and well, I decided to spend a morning with what my friend Arlene had created and called, “Linda’s Love Box”, that was filled with a year’s worth of the cards, letters and messages of encouragement from friends, family and even strangers. I was moved to tears of gratitude for every single card, prayer and thought that kept me strong, hopeful and feeling supported. And I have deep gratitude for those who walked with me on this healing journey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
We now have stepped out of 2020—a year that was for most of us one of the toughest on record. Altogether, we have lost loved ones, jobs, health, homes, and, at times, hope. Others have lost freedoms.
Now the question is: How can we use our collective gratitude to lift up our own lives and the people around us as we appreciate what we do have, who is in our life, the free time that we have had to be creative and to discover what is most important? We are still here and can take a deep breath of gratitude for the gift of life and the opportunity to welcome a new day.
Linda Commito, author, speaker, entrepreneur, consultant and teacher, is passionate about her vision to leave this world a kinder, more loving, and interconnected place. Linda’s award-winning book of inspirational stories, Love Is the New Currency, demonstrates how we can each make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others through simple acts of love and kindness. Her latest project, the card game Just Ask 1 2 3, was inspired by a desire to connect people of all different ages, beliefs and lifestyles to share our individuality and find commonality. Linda also created “Kindness Starts with Me,” a program, book and website for children. For more information visit http://www.LoveistheNewCurrency.com or visit the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Justask123game.