But I have only felt true gratitude a handful of times. What is the difference between being "thankful" and being "grateful", you ask?
Being thankful is feeling relieved/pleased that what you hoped for has actually come to fruition.
But experiencing true gratitude is to really feel and embrace the power of the universe and the contributions of others. True gratitude is an action word. It's gratitude and appreciation combined. Because you can feel appreciation for something without actually being grateful for it. It's called "taking something for granted".
For example, several years ago, I started a baseball program for disabled and special needs kids. Yep. I did. And it remains the one thing in my life that I am most proud of. I was "thankful" that my idea worked and thankful that all my hard work paid off. But the "gratitude" didn't come until later.
It was during our second game, as I watched this little girl, who had to be carried across home plate on the shoulders of her father.
I was struck senseless because I realized in that moment that this scenario would not have played out for this girl and her family had I not started the baseball program. I felt "true gratitude" that I was given the opportunity to witness this girl's triumphant home run as she raised her little hands in the air and crossed home plate. I was grateful that I was allowed to experience that moment.
I felt true gratitude for being able to serve these great kids.
I actually cried like a baby, as I stood in the dugout cheering her on, because for that one moment, I knew that starting the baseball program was exactly what I was meant to do.
But it wasn't about what I had done for these kids but what they had done for me.
True gratitude is a wonderful, uplifting, humbling gift.
That was several years ago. And I still remember the sensation of feeling true gratitude. It was overwhelming. It makes you feel like weeping to be filled with such gratefulness and appreciation for others.
I never knew if I would ever be so fortunate to feel like that again, but here I am a few years later.
I feel true gratitude for Stuart Reardon.
Yes, Stu Reardon, the Brit.
Yes, Stu Reardon the amazingly handsome and sexy, rugby player and fitness model.
Yes, this Stu Reardon:
But because this post is getting a bit long and nobody likes to read long posts, I will save what Stu has done for me for my next post. But if you'd like to learn more about him in the meantime, go "like" his Facebook page and drool all over this fine man, I'd appreciate it. He's a pretty fantastic guy.
You can find him here.