Sufi Tom and I spent some time in Oregon talking about the concept of gratitude. How for many of us, yours truly included, have a difficult time with a compliment. I find myself fumbling around with a reply to a compliment – the words thank you seeming so inadequate and feeling so unworthy of the compliment in the first place. I’d like to say my response is true humility, but I think it goes deeper than that. There is a lot of lack of self-esteem thrown into the equation, but more importantly a failure to recognize an opportunity – an opportunity to count my blessings.
Take a simple thank you note. It isn’t merely a price you pay for receiving a gift or hospitality, a minimum tribute or a toll. It is an opportunity to count one’s blessings. Gratitude is not something you give in exchange for something; it is what you feel when you are blessed – blessed to have family and friends who care about you, and want to see you happy. Hence there can be an immense joy from simply thanking.
This weekend during your meditation think about your reaction to a compliment, a gift, or something as simple as a warm smile. Let your reaction be one of immense and sincere joy.