what i know for sure
October 23, 2014
It's that time of year again... where I spend any free afternoon I have at Barnes & Noble trying to catch up on my reading goals for this year (still don't know how I'll do it), but the cherry on top comes with Starbucks caramel hazelnut steamers. Max thinks steamed milk is the most overpriced thing to pay for in this world, but not I. I love it. Last weekend I was really excited because I had an entire Saturday afternoon free from responsibility and Max got to join me for a night at the bookstore. I've started a few books I really want to talk about sometime (Sold, Jesus on Trial, #Girlboss) and I finished Oprah Winfrey's What I Know For Sure, so wanted to share a favorite excerpt from the book:
"Say Thank You," Many years ago, those words from Maya Angelou turned my life around.
I was on the phone with her, sitting in my bathroom with the door closed and the toilet lid down, weeping so uncontrollably that I was incoherent.
"Stop it!" Maya chided. "Stop it right now and say thank-you."
"But you-you don't understand," I sobbed. To this day, I can't remember what it was that had me so far gone, which only proved the point Maya was trying to make.
"I do understand," She told me. "I want to hear you say it now. Out loud. 'Thank you.'"
Tentatively, I repeated it: "Thank you." And then snuffed some more. "But what am I saying thank-you for?"
"You're saying thank-you," Maya said, "because your faith is so strong that you don't doubt that whatever the problem, you'll get through it. You're saying thank you because you know that even in the eye of the storm, God has put a rainbow in the clouds... Say thank-you!"
So I did - and still do.
Being grateful all the time isn't easy. But it's when you feel least thankful that you are most in need what gratitude can give you: perspective. Gratitude transforms any situation. Its the quickest, easiest, most powerful way to effect change in your life - this I know for sure.
Here's the gift of gratitude: In order to feel it, your ego has to take a back seat. What shows up in its place is greater compassion and understanding. Instead of being frustrated, you choose appreciation. And the more grateful you become, the more you have to be grateful for...
Whatever you're going through, you will do just that: go through it. It will pass. So say thank-you now. Because you know the rainbow is coming.
I've thought a lot about what I know for sure since reading Oprah's book, (and there's a lot more to my own list than I thought there would be) - but one thing I can definitely share with Oprah is the power of gratitude. Those I know who are most happy, always always always fall under the category of being most grateful too.