Ways of showing gratitude to others. And how about yourself? List of the former, and my (probably biased) musings about the latter.

Gosh, what a wordy and clumsy title! But I didn’t have any more graceful-sounding ideas and didn’t want it to be too bland either.

A while back, I bought myself another book to work with for my journal, and also for blog post inspirations, about the existence of which, again, I learned from Astrid at

A Multitude of Musings.

It’s Listify, written by Marina Greenway, and as you can guess from the title, it focuses mostly on lists. The first part of this book is all about gratitude, and the first list idea is the following:

   Ways I can show gratitude to myself and others

It’s important to show others we appreciate and care about them, but it’s equally important to acknowledge ourselves and all we do. List the ways you can do so, and challenge yourself to do one from each list everyday.

As for the challenging myself part, I wrote the original list in my journal a few days ago and decided to indeed do these things to show my gratitude to people. So far I don’t find it particularly difficult as it’s mostly my close family, and of course I’m doing the MIMRA which is also one huge act of gratitude but also a whole lot of fun for me. I suppose though with people I’d feel less comfortable around I’d have more problems with some of these points, but I’ll try anyway when there will be an opportunity, as gratitude is a good thing, obviously.

Below is the list of ways of showing gratitude to others that I’ve come up with so far.

   Gratitude to others

  •    Simply say “thank you” or acknowledge in any other verbal way that I appreciate what they did.
  • Give them an appreciative hug or show them affection in some other way.
  • Compliment or praise them, or say anything nice that could boost their mood or confidence.
  • Help in any way I can.
  • Be attentive to their needs and show them my interest in them and that I care about them.
  • Listen carefully and actively.
  • Do something that may make them happier or even just make them laugh or smile.
  • smile to them.
  • spend time with them.
  • Do random acts of kindness for them.
  • Be there for them when they need it.
  • Do the same thing for them that they did to me, if applicable.
  • Give them something nice that they will enjoy, like a care package.
  • Give some of my free time and energy to them, even when I could use it to do something else that I may like more.
  • Be patient with them.
  • Offer advice if wanted.
  • Remember about them – for example, when doing shopping for myself I may do it for them as well if they need it, or if I see something that I know they like I can get it for them, or at least tell them that I saw it and where so that they know I often think about them and know what they like. –
  • Write something nice about them, or for them, as writing often feels easier than talking to me.
  • Give them their favourite meal or treat.
  • Find a book or music they could like, again, to show them that I care and know something about them.

Can you come up with anything more? Please do share in the comments, unless you prefer to write a separate post and pingback, whatever feels better. 🙂

   Self-gratitude

Now that was (and is) a tricky thing to me. Not just implementing it, but generally the concept. I don’t know, perhaps I’m seeing it in a very inflexible way, and most likely, just like I wrote in the title, my view of this is very biased, but I can’t really see much sense in self-gratitude. Maybe I just don’t understand it well. As I was preparing to write this post, after I read some things online about it, thinking that perhaps they will enlighten me (which they didn’t) I asked my Mum what she thinks about it, whether she has ever felt it, and if she has any ideas about how one could express it, and also how it’s different from self-care or taking pride in your accomplishments. My Mum had a similar view on this and actually started laughing and said that to her it also doesn’t make much sense, because according to her in a way it implies that there would be another self inside of you to whom you could be grateful for example for doing something you yourself wouldn’t think about doing, or wouldn’t be able. Like: “Oh, thanks, self, for reminding me that I should set my alarm at 6 AM, I don’t want to sleep in”. 😀 I mean, do any of you really think like this – say you’re driving somewhere, and instead of taking your usual route you have a gut feeling to take a roundabout one, and later you learn that on your usual route there was a huge traffic jam because there was an accident earlier – would you think: “Oh yay, thank me!”? If you would, it’s not at all that I think it’s wrong for anyone to do this and I think you shouldn’t, I’m just curious and would like to know because it’s certainly not my default reaction and I would probably burst out with laughter if I tried to force myself to it.

What I assume people understand as self-gratitude, is for example when you had an exam and passed it very well, you learned for ages until your brain got so swollen it nearly burst out of your skull and you mainly focused on this goal of passing this particular exam because it’s important for you, so perhaps you often refused yourself many things you liked and spent most of your time with your nose in the books despite you didn’t particularly enjoy it. But you did pass the exam and you’re euphoric, so now you can go for a huge dinner plus some very fancy coffee and an ice-cream dessert, then go to the spa and have a massage and then go shopping for things you really enjoy shopping for, because this is your way of thanking yourself for your perseverance, determination and for achieving your goal.

And that’s all good. But, just like I said earlier when asking my Mum, how’s that different from just regular self-care or celebrating your accomplishments? It seems like it should if it has a different name, and when I was thinking about a potential list of ways to show myself gratitude, I thought it was just a list of self-care activities.

Perhaps I don’t think in such a “Thank me” way, because I am a Christian, and rather than thank myself, a much more natural thing for me is to thank God. Like, when it’s a nice day and the weather is lovely and there’s a lot of crunchy, fallen leaves for Misha outside, I’d rather say “Thank you, God, for giving me the idea to go out and refresh my brain, and thank you for the lovely weather and that there are so many beautiful leaves for Misha here” than something like “Thank me for going out”. It just feels totally unnatural to me, and I’m not just talking about the “thank me” form which I’m mostly using in a humourous way to emphasise just how unnatural and awkward the whole thing seems to me. I may rather say: “Oh, I’m so glad I went out” or: “What a great idea I had that I got some leaves for Misha” (that’s still not my typical inner dialogue as I’m normally way more self-critical and sarcastic with myself but at least something I’m trying to aim for).

When thinking about any accomplishments, I don’t really think of them in a way that I’m grateful to myself for them. For example, I am quite proud of my language learning accomplishments but am not grateful to myself for them. It’s not my merit that I have good linguistic skills, I didn’t get to choose them at birth or program my brain to pick up languages easily. Neither is it really my merit that I’m learning Welsh now, because I wouldn’t be able to do it if the people who did the course wouldn’t create it, if my Swedish teacher didn’t show me how to learn a language on my own and didn’t always believe in me and that I can do it, if I wasn’t taught how to use technology and if my Dad wouldn’t be employing me so I could actually allow myself for paying for the courses, buying Welsh speech synths, Welsh books and what not without stressing myself about it. Thinking according to Christian faith, I wouldn’t even be able to take any action having all these things if I wouldn’t get the idea from Holy Spirit. Okay, I guess I could be grateful to myself for acting upon that idea and not wasting the skills I have, but in what special way should I show this gratitude to myself? Sometimes I also have a sort of self-gratitude feeling when I feel really euphoric about something so my self-esteem also goes up but that’s very much fleeting and not a mature, serious kind of feeling so the more I don’t know in what way I could act on it.

Going my Mum’s trail of thought, that it sounds like we should be grateful to some other self, well, perhaps that makes some sense when we think that our personalities are made up of different parts. There may be, speaking in a very basic way, a part of us that is more prone to do good things, and another one that makes us do things that we regret later. So we may be grateful to that “good” part. Perhaps that’s what it’s all about. Or I’ve mentioned on this blog sometimes how I have this part of myself that I call Bibiel, who is very childlike and humourous and eccentric and always talks about Bibiel-self in first person and who is like a mentally healthier sort of, less inhibited version of me whom I actually genuinely like. So maybe the clue is that I should feel grateful to Bibiel? Actually I sort of am, because without Bibiel I’m not sure where I’d be now, and Bibiel helps me with a lot of things. Perhaps I should be more grateful to my inner self-critic Maggie when she’s not as critical of me as she is usually, and maybe that will make her feel better?

My Mum goes as far as to say that all these self- things only make people more conceited. I think that’s a rather huge overstatement because it’s definitely important to be kind to yourself and love yourself, as much for your mental, physical and emotional, as spiritual wellbeing and even the wellbeing of others, though there is certainly a risk of this as these days we hear about alll things self- all the time and it’s easy to lose balance between what’s still self-love and what’s already conceit, in my opinion.

So my view of this is definitely strongly influenced by the fact that I’m a practicing Christian, someone who is not might think differently, as well as the fact that I have avoidant personality disorder, which has quite a strong influence on how I feel about myself. And it’s because of AVPD that I think I may be biased here.

So I’d like to hear your thoughts about this. Do you practice self-gratitude? If so, in what ways and how would you define it? In what ways would you say is it different from self-care and celebrating your accomplishments? Am I missing out on something huge here? Let me know. I may not be able to share your opinion, but that doesn’t matter as far as I’m concerned, and who knows, you may even convince me. 🙂 Oh yeah, and let me know if you can think of some other ways to show gratitude to other people perhaps ones that you use yourself that I didn’t list.

 

Question of the day.

Hi guys! 🙂

How do you feel about astrology in general?

My answer:

I used to be very skeptical about it and didn’t believe in it at all, I thought it was evil. Then, as a teenager, I started to take a great interest in all things esoteric and related, and astrology was especially interesting to me. I was really immersed in it and thought about it as really fascinating but the way I see it now was that it was more one of the ways in which I was rebelling, mostly against my boarding school which was Catholic, and I wanted to have nothing to do with it, I didn’t want it to have any influence on me. My family is also Christian and practicing, but at that time I desperately wanted to think I was an atheist, just to be different, it was all very complex I think. Interestingly, around the same time my Mum started to be slightly interested in astrology as well. She never was before and thought it was bullshit. But she got some books, I believe they were called Astrologus, it was a series of twelve small books about each sign in-depth. And she started to think it makes some sense, some parts of it at least. – After some years of my fascination with esoteric stuff, lucid dreaming, Doses aka sound drugs, and after I left that school I re-converted to Christianity in a way, and started my life all over again. I’m no longer as very passionate about astrology but I do find it interesting. I think it’s really silly to make stuff like a horoscope for all people of one star sign and expect it to work for them. I suppose there can be astrologists who do horoscopes in a more intelligent way, for an individual, taking into consideration their whole birth chart and other things, but I’m not sure that can really work as well. But I suppose it can make sense that people – their behaviours, impulses, health – as well as nature overall, can be influenced by moon phases. My Dad has a gardening lunar calendar and has made some experiments with his plants to see if the Moon could really have any influence and from them it appears it could. People have trouble sleeping when the moon is full and women used to get period according to moon phases when the world was less industrialised, or that’s at least what I’ve read. There is also an online lunar calendar that I sometimes look at and I’ve started to see some pattern between the way my anxiety changes and the changes in moon phases, but I’m not sure it really has much influence, it’s more like a theory, not something I strongly believe in.

I’ve also read in a couple books about that, even if your star sign doesn’t affect your personality, the quarter of year in which you were born could, to a minor extent, and that it could affect your health, like, children born in summer are susceptible to other things than those born in winter. As for star signs having an impact on people’s personalities, I think it could also be true to an extent but not as huge as many astrologists or astrology afficionados claim. If you do your natal chart, you can see surprisingly often a whole lot of similarities between your personality and the signs in your chart. I’m not sure it’s really as infallible as people claim because I know loads of people who really badly stick out from what they should be like according to their star sign, and I don’t feel like a real Aquarius either, and sometimes not even a natal chart can explain it. But I think a lot of the time, with describing people’s personalities, perhaps some predispositions, it’s right. It won’t predict your fate in my opinion, well perhaps if you believe in it strongly and will just make it happen, or if you go to a really good astrologist who also knows a fair bit about psychology and human nature, and I wouldn’t put too much significance to it, defiinitely not as much as I used to, you need to keep thinking critically when playing astrology. I suppose it could be a good complementary tool for people who are on some sort of a self-discovery journey, wanting to figure out themselves, their relationships or families, but I wouldn’t base solely on astrology. While fortune telling or putting all your trust in such things as stars feels wrong to me as a Christian, I no longer consider astrology evil as I used to, not if you approach it with the right mindset. After all, some monks used to also be astrologists in the past, and back then there was nothing wrong with it I guess, and if so, why should it now? If you use astrology for example as I said to study lunar influences, I don’t see anything wrong with it. I don’t play around much with astrology these days just because I don’t find it as very interesting as I used to, and I don’t need it nor don’t feel like it, but I have no problem with using it in the right place. It’s certainly more logical than numerology which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to me now and which I used to sit very deeply in as a teen as well. I guess it was rather that I wanted to believe in it and that it could tell me something, rather than I seriously did believe it works.

So, what’s your view on astrology? 🙂

,My thoughts]

Happy Easter, peeps and pets! 😍😻

Hiya people and hhrrru? to all of you.

It’s just a quick, collaborative post of me and Misha who is too sleepy to write on his own, and we’d like to wish all of you a very happy happy happy Easter. I hope it will be a blessed time for all of you and that you will feel the presence of Jesus in your lives, that it will be just a happy, peaceful time for all of you. And Misha wishes you loads of yummy food and some nice presents, but also don’t forget about your pets, Misha loves getting presents and his point of view is that everyone else does too. Or if you’re not celebrating Easter, have a beautiful, fun-filled weekend and enjoy yourselves whatever you’re going to do. 🙂 I’m sorry I’ve been quite behind on blogging, I hope I can catch up over Easter, I’ve been having a lot of time with my family and had been completely absorbed by a work possibility that I thought I found in front of me, which didn’t work out but I lost sight of everything else for the time being hahahaha and got completely immersed in that.

Question of the day.

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?

My answer:

First thought I had – is there really any afterlife after we die? This may seem strange since I’m a practicing Christian so should be sure that there is, and I believe in it, but I suppose everyone of us, no matter what we believe in or if we don’t believe in the existence of any God, ask it sometimes, ’cause many of us would like to be sure. Is it all true or is it just a bullshit and we will just die and nothing will happen afterwards? That’s interesting. DO you guys ask yourselves this question sometimes too? But then I had another thought and I think I would prefer to get answer for this one, as I wonder really often about that and sometimes get quite frustrated about it:

Why actually was it so hard for me to go through that long period of time when I was at the boarding school? Or maybe not why it was so hard, but why did it affect me, my emotions and my mental health so much? Why I felt like it was so challenging if I wasn’t abused there, besides one year when I was emotionally abused by some of the staff, but then it finished. Why did I have such big issues with adapting there and why was it so overwhelming in so many different ways, for so many different reasons? Did other kids feel it too, but they were such great actors that I didn’t notice anything? They had to be really great, because I think I’m pretty good at “feeling” other people and I always thought they are happy there, well as happy as kids may be when they aren’t with their families. I know only one girl who I know that reacted to being there like me and ended up with generaised anxiety. Luckily she was much younger than me when people started to see what’s going on and it was my Mum who told her mum that she should take her home. Her issues looked very familiar for me. Is it the matter of high sensitivity? Coincidence of too many hard things put together? Emotional weakness? My Mum thinks so, but then why do a few other people said they think I’m strong? Is actually such thing like emotional strength a thing that can be objectively measured? Or maybe I was already freaky when I got there? Would I struggle less nowadays with my mental health if I wouldn’t go there? Or maybe I wouldn’t struggle at all? Why I am so afraid of processing my emotions and reacting so weirdly, emotionally and physically, to different, apparently normal stuff that all the other people are indifferent about and don’t think much about?

Well it is certainly more than one question. 😀 But it’s all swirling around one thing, so I look at it as one, big question. It all really makes me wonder.

What would be your questions. 🙂