In my attempt to lead this wholehearted lifestyle, I choose to leave my comfort zone and venture out where the uncertainty evokes anxiety inside. That letting down of my walls which have kept my ‘safe’ inside. I need to break down these walls that have imprisoned me within. I find that my reservoir is filled with unspoken feelings for people who have been kind to me.
I think the culture we live in undervalues the expression of gratitude to others even if the good deed done for us seems minuscule. We take for granted that sometimes, people appreciate some positive feedback and that may be enough to motivate them to do more good. It is unfortunate that our energies are usually directed towards expressing our discontent to others. We can afford to spend that time writing long (negative) feedback about the waiter who did not serve us well, or the salesgirl who was unpleasant. However, do we put in the same time and effort to express gratitude when it comes to someone helping us out? Let’s start a new culture where we show appreciation to those who had been kind to us or if we are satisfied with something (and maybe constructive, not negative, feedback too if the situation requires it).
I find that whenever someone has treated or served me well, I am grateful but unable to express how I feel. Usually, I would silently pray that “God would reward him/her for his/her kindness” towards me. I always hold this belief that if we openly express our gratitude, not only will that person feel happy but you will too. In my culture, thanking and praising people openly.. is almost unheard of. Well, I rarely see this happening. We are always quick to criticise or complain when we are unsatisfied.
A few days ago, I was out with a close friend. I frequent this coffee place and have always enjoyed their iced mocha there. I told my friend that I have always wanted to say thank you to the barista but was afraid to do so. Somehow, we (or rather I because she is brave enough) managed to gather the courage to approach the barista to say how much we enjoyed the coffee and to keep it up. I have always wanted to do that but fear would get the best of me. When we eventually did, I wondered why I didn’t do it sooner. I felt at peace letting the person know because not expressing my feelings is like a weight on my chest. And I am sure the barista was beaming from ear to ear with the compliments.
I had been thinking about telling my T how I much appreciate her but each session especially towards the last few, I can’t seem to verbalise those words. Worst, I kept going back and forth about whether I should do it. Then I realised how this is daring greatly for me – getting out of my comfort zone to practise what I truly believe in and that is to practise gratitude. I sent her an email requesting for a short call (I was already heading back to my country) mentioning that I wanted to talk to her and she did not need to say anything. She replied an hour later with her office number. My palms were sweating when I was dialling. When she picked up, I explained that I am ‘into this practise of expressing gratitude’ so I wanted to tell her that I appreciate that she has been encouraging and supportive of me. I said that I wished I had more sessions with her. And then I said, I won’t say goodbye to you and instead, I am saying “I will see you later” and will find ways back to your couch lol. She asked, anything else? I said, I don’t know why I am lost for words when I am talking to her. She said, it’s ok, she understands what I want to say and then goes on to saying that she knows it must be difficult for me to come in for sessions and yet I was courageous enough despite it. She also said that she enjoys working with me and hope that I come back. We chatted a little bit about where I was and how I was going back. And then we ended the conversation because my line got cut off. She called again and and then we said our goodbyes. I honestly cannot express how grateful I am to her.
This will be a start for me to live authentically.. where I feel the need to express myself – not in writing any more – but verbally because I truly believe that verbalising my feelings is more heartfelt to the person than through writing (although I don’t think any less of that either). I admit that it is not going to be easy but I will try. One of my resolutions for this year!