In this series, I share journaling prompts to cultivate gratitude and appreciation. You can follow along on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #TheGratitudePrompts, or here on the blog where I share my own personal answers to each prompt. For quick access to all the prompts in the series, check out THIS PAGE.
This week's prompt is a special one, because it comes in two parts. Part one is reflect and write about a time in your life when someone was there for you. Part two is to put down the pen, close the notebook, and express your thanks directly. While journaling can cultivate our personal sense of gratitude, it's no substitute for saying thank you to the people who need to hear it.
As William Arthur Ward once said, "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
Think of someone who helped you through a hard time.
(Write about that experience, then thank them.)
You can thank them in person, write them a letter, call them up, or even send an email. But if you can, I recommend doing it face to face. Let them know how much you appreciate them, or tell them specific things they did that helped you. Don't be shy -- they will feel good about being appreciated, and you'll feel good for giving them a proper thank you!
WHAT I WROTE:
A couple years ago my dad passed away. My brother and half sister both live out of state, and he was divorced from my mom, leaving me to handle all the immediate things that needed to be handled. One night an officer came to my door to deliver the news -- my dad had taken a fall. I didn't know how to feel... part numb, part relief that he was in a better place, part confusion at what had happened. When the officer left, only one person besides me knew what I'd just been told. My husband and best friend. He put his arms around me even though I told him I was fine, even though I told him I didn't need it. I'd known this coming, I'd tried to prepare myself mentally. But he held me for a long time anyway, and in the following days and weeks he was my constant supporter and quiet, unwavering ally. I am so grateful he was there for me, and is still there for me now, as I navigate the feelings of losing a parent. All people could see on the outside was how well I handled it, how level-headed and accepting I was, but in the moments when I needed someone, he was there.
I've told him before, but after writing about the experience I felt another wave of gratitude for how much he did for me during that time. I let him know by reading what I had written, and he hugged me tight in return. It never hurts to tell someone thank you, even if you think you've done it before.
Feel like sharing what you wrote for this prompt?
Leave a comment below, or post on social media with the hashtag #thegratitudeprompts
Want more? As more prompts come out, they will be added to this page, HERE. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #thegratitudeprompts
Have a suggestion for a prompt? Leave a comment below, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org