Love and Gratitude 

A year ago a wonderful man in my life suggested that there is a difference between “love” and “gratitude.” Hmmm….I thought as he attempted to explain. Ever since then I have been mulling over what he said. Of course, I can’t remember exactly what he said…just that he said there was a difference. After that I would hear people say, “I love….[this or that, him or her],” and I would reflect on what he had said.

Then I decided to use the word “gratitude” whenever I often otherwise would use the word “love” and see if I could discern the difference…understand what he was suggesting. Slowly I began to grok what he had been suggesting. Each time I used the word “gratitude, it seemed as if my heart opened a little more. Try it…say “I love you,” to your significant other, to your child, to your parent, to yourself…like that. Then…say “I am so grateful for…,” to your significant other, to your child, to your parent, to yourself (what a concept!). Feel the difference.

As time went by I became more grateful daily for me and all that is around me. My heart often feels as if it is filled with waves of gratitude. Each day when I arise, each picture I take, all that I see…each fiber I play with…each person I meet…how grateful I am.

A few weeks ago I was invited to dine at a friend’s home to meet her soon-to-be wedded partner. I can say that my friend has always been full of life…willing to try new things, curious, an adventurer. Listening to her on the phone when she invited me, I sensed something had changed. And so I went to her home for dinner, full of curiosity. From the moment I walked in. there it was…palpable…overflowing…the personification of gratitude. “It isn’t love,” I thought. It was as if the universe was saying to me, “See, this is what gratitude is. There’s no mistaking it…it’s all around you…embrace it…receive it…live it…it’s the fullness of life.”

I don’t know about you…but I’ll have that! And I wish it for all of you.