The word GRATITUDE comes from the Latin word "gratus"
which is also the exact same root of the word GRACE...
"gratus" means pleasing or thankful... but when looking specifically at the word grace,
it also refers to having: favor, regard, generosity or goodwill.
WOW.... after three years of studying gratitude, and I just read this!
So... what does this mean to the average person?
It means... GRATITUDE (in it's most genuine form) offers a special GRACE
or favor, regard, generosity and goodwill
that is not always available to the same degree without it.
According to an article in Harvard Health, gratitude is strongly AND consistently associated with greater levels of happiness. Research has spent thousands of hours combing through the data in its quest to understand exactly why. Yet, over and over again, genuinely grateful people (from all walks of life) rank as the happiest people. What is gratitude doing to the brain that causes such a behavior shift?
image by psypost.org
This is where the term GRACE comes into play with GRATITUDE. The original meaning of GRACE has to do with favor and kindness GIVEN to another. It is considered an ACTION word.... and gratitude (in the scientific sense) is too. In order for GRATITUDE to have beneficial effects within the brain, it must be FELT. There has to be a purposeful recognition of WHAT you are grateful for....and.... an affirmation that the gift has been given to you from a source outside yourself. Sounds just like GRACE!
In my lifetime I can tell you I have learned more about the GIFT of GRACE from my mother than from any other place. She is the essence of offering favor, generosity and goodwill with NO thought of what she would receive from her gift. Over the years I have made countless mistakes, do-overs, changing of paths, and had multitudes of unexpected road blocks... yet, there has been one place I knew GRACE would always be consistent "My Momma".
Webster says - Grace is something given that you did not ask for or feel you deserve.
So... for all of you mothers out there who feel you DON'T:
1. make enough money
2. give your child enough opportunities
3. look the way you want
4. exercise enough
5. plan every meal ahead of time and have 3 squares a day
6. have a home that looks like Better HOMEs and Garden
7. provide healthy snacks after school
8. plan the perfect gifts months ahead of time
9. go on yearly trips to exotic locations
10. show your children a perfect "Leave it to BEAVER" example of marriage
THEN.... forgive yourself
LET IT GO
and realize that no matter how old you get....
a MOTHER's grace is the greatest GIFT you can offer.
Over the last 6 months I have heard from many, many mothers... and most of them wanting to learn how to "feel" grateful when they believe they have not been their best for their children. I can tell you NONE of us have. The social media world has made this "feel bad about yourself" syndrome drastically worse! However, no matter how much we KNOW IT... we seem to think everyone else's life looks great and ours never seems to match up. BUT... please realize that people are not posting REAL life. They are posting a "snapshot" of their BEST life in a series of photos. So... start today and give yourself the GRACE you need to be proud of who your are RIGHT NOW. When you know better do better! Look in the mirror and be kind to the skin you're living in. Know that you did the best with what you had and make a genuine effort from this point forward to look at life through the lens of GRATITUDE. Say thank you for the opportunity to show GRACE to the people in your life, and become a living example of graceful gratitude.
Staci is a one-of-a-kind mix of JOY and Neuroscience who is teaching people all over the world to BUILD a BETTER BRAIN by using Gratitude to create a BRIGHTER future. She has a Master's Degree in Educational NEUROSCIENCE and 25 years of teaching experience where she developed a reputation for being able to uncover potential in others like no one else could. Let her teach you how to live a HAPPIER Life by using the neuroscience of GRATITUDE to rewire your brain and build a better future!