On The Front Side

Gratitude; to know it on any level is to first nod to the miracle of overcoming the greatest of odds…

The odds of me ever being born were stacked astronomically against me.  That 14-billion years ago some particles would somehow form from nothing, join with other particles colliding and making more particles still, and that a proportionately small cluster of those particles would work themselves, and rework themselves until they eventually became me is beyond my comprehension.  That said, it is well within my appreciation.  I appreciate being here – gratitude.  And really, gratitude is just a formal name for appreciation.

Sunday morning near Coos Bay, OR

On The Good Side

Gratitude in the name of wonder is easy.  Gratitude for success is simple.  Gratitude for a moment, a smile, a hand, a gift, a view, even a much needed dollar comes with no effort.  Of course this kind of gratitude is really more directed at the self, which is why it’s so easy – it’s easy to be grateful when good things happen.  I suggest most experience this type of gratitude daily, but are often too quick to shed it without savoring it, for the ease at which it came.

Saturday, 20 miles north of Eureka, CA

On The Hard Side

It’s a hard life; we struggle, we suffer, and we experience loss.  And though it may be hard to associate gratitude with any of these, it’s an exercise worthy of the attempt.  To look any negative circumstance and embrace it rather than flinch is a part of gratitude.  There should be consideration for the lessons which accompany a negative circumstance.  To see beyond a bad circumstance, or to just use one in comparison, applying context to a more positive circumstance, is also a form of gratitude.  Of course that kind of gratitude is also directed at the self, but it’s more earned.

Sunday, Central Oregon Coast

On The Outside

There is one other kind of gratitude – the most important kind; offered gratitude.  Offered gratitude is the type of gratitude which gets quickly lost behind the thick walls of agenda which we so easily build to insulate ourselves with in this busy and modern world.  This would be the gratitude we demonstrate for others; that they might know we appreciate them, their actions, and how they have enhanced our lives.

It is the gratitude of offering, of listening, and of being there for another when you would rather be somewhere else.  It’s the gratitude of selflessness, of re-prioritizing, and of making time on behalf of another.

Gratitude feels best, not when it gets breathed in, but when it is blown into the sails of others, that the vehicle of their journey has more power.

Driftwood near Newport, OR. Falcor The Luck Dragon…?

On The Flipside

On this day, among other things, I want to express my gratitude to anyone reading this.  I have gratitude for those around me who know me, and like me anyway.  Mostly today, I am as grateful for my pain as I am for my wealth so that, in the words of Bob Dylan,

“I can know if I’m really real”

…and that can’t be done without gratitude for pain.  Be well.  rc

Hipster Dog outside Voo Doo Donuts, Portland, OR

28 responses

  1. There is so much I wanted to say about this wonderful post but I will limit myself to one comment. When you talk about the origins, this moment of creation, it makes me think how often we forget that we and this entire universe come from one place, one origin and that not appreciating the world around us (not having gratitude?) means we do not respect ourselves. Because in reality we and the world are all the same.
    Thank you, Roy, for this post.

  2. Roy,
    I love your look at gratitude and what it means to you. So much that we have to be thankful for…do we make the time to fully appreciate it all (both outwardly and inwardly)?

    Thank you, my friend – for sharing this – and really for sharing all that you do. So good to know you…

    And your pictures are awesome!!

  3. Lovely, lovely thoughts Roy.

    If I may interject something. If you have a chance to offer words of gratitude to someone, don’t pass it up. Over the weekend, at my brother’s wake, so many of his friends got up to speak about his life and offer their words of gratitude regarding the way he touched their lives. It meant the world to our family to hear these kind words. I only wish that he knew how they felt before he passed.

    • That’s nice for you and your family Karen, especially after all you have been through with this. And I will add to that; if you love someone, tell them every time you talk to them.

  4. I am like Jules.. speechless…. Roy, amazing post!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just the thoughts & feelings & just you! I have huge gratitude that I got to “meet” you here in blog land!

    And yes, those pics are amazing! The beauty of the land. Hipster dog is priceless!

    • Thank you Jody — and I am grateful you took time to check in on me a couple of times while I was gone. Though I did not return the emails (was trying to stay tech-free for 5 days), they meant the world to me.

  5. I relate to the Dylan reference in an enormous kind of way. I wish I could tell you the amount of times per day I wonder if my life is just a master mind game. Is it real? Am I real?

    You are so right my friend. You have to feel to really live. Bad –> really bad. Great –> really great. When I’m feeling somewhere in one of these extreme ranges, my life is “porridge”. It’s just right, because I am feeling some form of gratitude – and I know THIS is real. I’m real. And I’m grateful.

    • Sounds so corny Bobbie but it’s so true, I wouldn’t trade one bad, that I would have no context food for the good ones. I’m not addicted to pain and suffering, but I don’t fear them.

      • There was supposed to be a bad word in place of “game” but I opted to write profanity free because I knew the doc would see it; thus making it come off a tad corny. You are making me soft Roy/Dr J! But the rest of it was truly heartfelt. 🙂

  6. And after those 14 billion years, those particles became sentient, and could look back at where they came from, with wonder, with reflection, and with gratitude…

    Welcome home, Roy!

  7. You sure do have a way with words my friend. Thank you for being an amazing friend and sharing your wisdom. And, thank you for bringing me my car 🙂

  8. On the basis of this entry–and others in your blog–I’m recommending to Perlman that he replace Todd Siler with you as the brains behind the operation of his “Think Like A Genius” educational start up! Nice job – Doug

  9. “Gratitude feels best, not when it gets breathed in, but when it is blown into the sails of others, that the vehicle of their journey has more power.” I love this line:)

  10. Beautiful, Roy! I must get the camera clicking. I have seen some NEW beautiful things, people and scenery. I am so grateful and must capture what I can and share with others to express my gratitude for being where I am in the moment.

  11. Fellow Self-Discovery: Gratitude participant here, just stopping in to read and say hi. 🙂

    Great post — and yes, “offered gratitude” is such an important one.

    Also, random note, but I LOVE your post title, hehehe. It’s so cute.

  12. Pingback: Do we have a happiness set point?

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