Building Block: GRATITUDE
My life is riddled with sayings. A college roommate of mine once gifted me a book to consolidate my “Corvoisms”. Over the years, I have adopted some things from here and other things from there. My book contains all my experiments. What works for me. What doesn’t? What was a trend? What became a habit. What evolved. There is no right or wrong answer, I just found a system that works for me. That system is constantly evolving. It’s kind of AMAZING, to be honest!
I’m like an onion. I’m simple yet very complicated. I excel at being present so a lot of people think that I’m an open book. I’m actually very private. I’m selective about whom I allow into my world and I get very upset when people take that privilege for granted. My journey of writing a book is my challenge to open up a bit. Embrace what society calls “crazy” and share my secrets with the world.
I’m going to share a 10-year secret: how a heart emoji evolved into my letters of gratitude.
When I first moved to Asia, I left everything. My family, friends, and ex-boyfriend that I was still madly in love with. I was worried that my friends and family would forget about me so I was thinking of ways to stay connected. I opted for a heart emoji. Before bed, I would send a positive message to about 10-15 friends. The messages were on text, gchat or Facebook… The message was personalized with their name and a quick thinking of you plus emoji. Again, the purpose was to stay connected with people and SPREAD THE LOVE.
It’s very easy to get bogged down with the ‘busy’ of life. Sometimes I want to know how things are going and sometimes I just want you to know that I’m thinking about you. There is no expectation for a response. I’m happy with where I am in life and my only intention was to stay in touch and again, SPREAD THE LOVE.
I found over the years of this practice, a few things happened.
- Some connections strengthened whilst others fell apart
- My dad is right – platonic friendships are rare
- People are addicted to the feeling you give them
- Loyalty is conditional
- Boundaries are important for well being
- It’s OK to say ‘No’
- My job is to put myself first
The first few years, I would wake up in the morning with a bunch of responses. It was great. An immediate wave of positive vibes and a sea of heart emojis. Every once in a while, I’d be greeted with a sob story or a request for a phone call. Sometimes a generic compliment that they are jealous of my ‘fantastic life’. Truth is, during these years, I was working 75hrs/week, being objectified on the regular and still had a huge amount of guilt for leaving the USA (read ‘deserting my family’).
The next few years, I noticed that responses were taking a bit longer. People started snapping at me with being phony or ingenuine. People opted to follow me on Facebook rather than have direct contact. People get busy. I get it. I used to get upset but then I changed my delivery, I started writing letters of gratitude. I was clumsy at first. I didn’t know what to write and feared how it was going to be accepted. Practice makes perfect.
Sometimes when I’m at a loss for words, I pick up my old habit and send out a heart emoji. OR my new form of a heart emoji is usually a GIF of Channing Tatum dancing. That one NEVER gets old. Responses are usually their favorite GIF…it’s pretty AMAZING. My heart feels full!
Empowering tip: See how your relationships evolve when you start this practice and people know you care!
Call to action: Re-connect with people. I challenge you to send simple messages to others. If you need inspiration, check out my letters of gratitude.
#LetterOfGratitude #Relationships #Gratitude #BuildingBlocks