If there is one thing that H has left behind in me, when she left me behind, something that at one point in our relationship more than once walked both of us to the end of a phone conversation, happy chuckling, it is the growing capacity to be grateful. I know it’s the task of a Christian to be grateful, or that it’s something like the positive correlational relationship between x and y; the longer you walk with Jesus, the more grateful you become. Let me then be theologically correct to say that God used H to great effect in living out the concept of gratitude in my life.

At first it left a sour taste in my mouth, making me bitter towards her as well, stop being so flocking happy about everything all the time and see the positive sprouting up everywhere. Why are all those Christians always just so thankful and thaaaaankkkkfullll. I became recalcitrant, not because thats who I am, but just.. you know.. out of principle.

And because of this recalcitrance I made the mistake of thinking that I had to get rid of an old rebellious part of me, and that there was something wrong with me, because very often I was not thankful at all and it felt as if I was sending a child part of myself home with a crumpled beige wrapping paper, when what I actually wanted was the cinnamon stick that had been wrapped in it. I have a high-pitched ringing in my ear all day, BUT I am so grateful that it is only in the right ear…. Get out of here.

But gratitude is not the same as never being really angry about anything.
Gratitude is not the same as looking like a happy camper all day.
Gratitude is not the same as burying your head in the sand for the things happening around you.
Gratitude is not the same as invalidating your own struggles.
Gratitude is not the same as saying that things can always be worse.
Gratitude does not seal your place in heaven.

I noticed that for me gratitude has manifested itself in a very natural way, a bit like the invisible line you cross when you hang out with the same person more and longer and when, unnoticed, this relationship begins to form, which receives its existential right in the word ‘friendship’, something you did not see coming and which contours you also could not have sketched beforehand. Gratitude is on the inside, like a breath of life that moves with the rhythm of the day.

Advertisement