We're half way through! On day 50 I want to talk about the difference that showing my gratitude for others has made in my life. Late last summer I started writing gratitude letters to the people I am grateful for and the experience was wonderful. It's so beneficial to write your list down in your journal or even do a project like this, but by sending your gratitude to those you are thankful for, you increase the love and gratitude in the universe. You have the opportunity to make someone else feel good; someone that has made you feel good. You could say "isn't that a thank you letter?" and it is, but it's also a declaration of gratitude and it can mean the world to someone else.
I started with my parents, who have been doing things I am grateful for for 30 years. My gratitude letter started with the beginning of my life, thanking them for taking care of me and making sure I was healthy and safe and had everything I needed as a baby. I thanked them for everything I could think of from paying for my college education to always supporting me when I followed my heart. It was a long letter. I put it in the mail with a smile on my face, feeling like I had a secret and I couldn't wait for them to find out what it was. About a week later my parents told me that they cried while reading the letter. My heart swelled because I knew that theirs did while they read it and I knew that no matter what happened to me they would have this letter and they would know how grateful I was for everything they did for me.
We are grateful for the people in our lives who love us, support us, are there for us through our difficult times, and who perform the powerful gift of making us feel less alone. I encourage you to write gratitude letters, or even just notes or emails or texts, to the ones you are grateful for and increase the love in the world. Today my list is dedicated to all the people who do those things for me.
- To my mom, for being there for me since I was a little sea monkey. For always loving me unconditionally even when I was hard to love.
- To my dad, who has loved me as his own since he met me when I was just a little squirt running around his office. He has saved my life.
- To my siblings, Jimmy, Michael, Hilary, and Madison, for being sources of inspiration, love, and lessons. And for my sister's kids, who teach me about life all over again every time I see them.
- To my best friend Aliah, for possessing the rare combination of being the person I want to celebrate with when things are amazing and the person I want to cry with when things are at their worst. Also for always being grammatically correct and hilarious and fun and lovely. And for understanding me. She is a kindred spirit.
- To my roommate and dear friend Kellie, who is a constant inspiration and is constantly motivating me to be a better person. Who leads by example in never giving up, always staying positive, being hopeful, and always being so loving.
- To my cousin Stephanie, with whom I have been family and friends since I was born. She is so full of loving compassion and constantly striving to be the best version of herself for her and her loved ones. It's an honor to be loved by her.
- To my great aunt Edie, who supports me in my choices, believes in my heart, and is always willing to lend a listening and understanding ear. She is brave and strong and I want to be like her when I grow up. She is doing this project with me and doesn't want to stop at day 100!
- To my friend Ryan, who answers my calls at 3am New York time, who sent me flowers when I had surgery and who loves me in my full weirdness, including my crazy voices and dramatic hangovers.
- To dear friends new and old: Bradly, Greta, Adrian, Andrew, Elysha, Nicole, Sara, Brandon, Jeff, JR, and many more.
- For my ex boyfriends who taught me about love: Erik, Alex, Brady, Nick, the other Nick, and Dan.
- For you! For reading this post and for being exactly who you are.