The Important Habit of Saying Thank You

This month we’re talking about recognizing and being grateful for the support we receive from other people. Showing our gratitude is the best way to be conscious of the help we receive. In End the Struggle and Dance With Life, Susan talks about “Cultivating the habit of saying, ‘Thank You.’”

The next ritual follows naturally from the last…and that is to cultivate the habit of verbalizing our thanks. When we look mindfully and deeply at the beauty in our lives, and begin to list the multitude of people and things who have supported us in the past and support us in the present, there can be only two words that comes from our heart and to our lips, and these words are, THANK YOU!

The inclusion of the words THANK YOU in our vocabulary, sets up an interesting paradox. Each time we say these two powerful words, we are acknowledging a gift we were given. By definition, if we say THANK YOU often enough, any trace of a poverty consciousness disappears; we begin feeling incredibly abundant!

On the other hand, if we don’t say THANK YOU very often, it is a sign we are taking things for granted. When we take things for granted, we are sleepwalking our way through life. Giving thanks is one way of waking ourselves up. And speaking of waking up, the morning is a wonderful time to begin your process of saying thanks. What have you got to thank so early in the morning?

“Thank you body for keeping me alive. Thank you coffee for the delicious wake-up call. Thank you vitamins and breakfast for nourishing me. Thank you hot shower for the luscious feeling of warmth and comfort. Thank you house for protecting me from the elements. Thank you makeup and hair dryer for helping me feel ready to face the day. Thank you car for starting. Thank you roads, stop signs, traffic lights for getting me to work safely. Thank you job for giving me money to buy what I need.”

And I only skimmed the surface. What if you “looked deeply” as I described in the last chapter at each of these items. You’d be saying thank you all day! You may think it’s ridiculous to think of such ordinary things in our lives as blessings.

Not only do we take things for granted, we take people for granted. Our thanks to them is incredibly important, particularly to those who are most significant in our lives. Although it may be easier (when we remember!) to thank the bus driver, the waitress, the toll booth collector, the garbage collector, and so on, it is sometimes very difficult to thank those who are significant in our lives…our parents, our mates, our children, and even our boss and co-workers.

It’s also difficult to say thanks when we are afraid of being dependent on anyone…or obligated to anyone. This is the time to feel the fear and say thanks anyway! Also, many of us find it difficult to say thank you because we think we give much more than we receive. Sometimes this is true. And I’m not someone who finds footprints on the face very attractive! But sometimes we think we are giving more than we get simply because we fail to notice how much we are given!