I was just thinking about gratitude the other day in terms of expressing gratitude for the big things and the little things and it crossed my mind that what might be little for one person could be something big for another.
What made me think this?
Yes, turnip (or you might call it swede or rutabaga)
You see, every Autumn/Winter my husband and I hop across the Austrian/German border so I can get a few turnips which I cook and freeze, ready to feed my turnip cravings throughout the year (yep – what some people, like my husband, screw their faces up about, I get cravings over).
And I recently had one of those craving moments which was what got me thinking about gratitude, and how gratitude expressed for what might be little for one person could be something big for another.
When we first moved to Austria, I was pretty accepting to the idea that turnips, for me, were off the menu as it wasn’t a vegetable I had been able to get in the previous countries I’d lived in, except my birth country of N Ireland.
Imagine my excitement (and gratitude), though, when we decided to hop across the border one weekend and do our shopping in Germany for a change and, as I was gathering my usual mountain of fruit and veg for the week, I spotted turnips.
Now to everyone who shops there every week, the presence of turnip in Autumn/Winter time is probably nothing new. They most likely don't even notice them, let alone express gratitude for them.
For me, however, being a vegetable I have struggled to find in the supermarkets wherever I’ve lived since leaving the UK way back in 2002, well… you might get an idea of just how happy and delighted I was to spot them.
For me a humble turnip, that most people wouldn't bat an eyelid at, was like finding a pot of gold. And I couldn't hold back my excitement as I clapped my hands, repeated "thank you" a dozen times, and called my husband (who incidentally doesn't like any root veg, never mind the humble turnip) to "come quick" (I'm sure the people around me thought I was bonkers...)
I rooted amongst the turnips until I found the biggest one and happily wheeled it over to weigh it.
Can you imagine where my primary focus went that evening when I was expressing gratitude?
Isn't it interesting how something can appear small and an everyday thing to one person and yet something exciting and huge to another?
Do you have a 'turnip' in your life?
Do you have something that seems normal and small to others, and yet is like a pot of gold to you? How often do you express gratitude for it?
And vice versa, do you have something that you see as normal and small, yet others might see as something substantial and special? How often do you express gratitude for that?
All too often, when it comes to expressing gratitude, we focus on the large things we're grateful for, the bigger blessings, the miracles that don't happen daily. Shouldn't we, however, be expressing gratitude for everything we experience every day, for both the large and unusual as well as the small and regular?
It's really all about perspective.
German Physician, Albert Einstein, stated, "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
If you live as though nothing is a miracle, then you're going to struggle to find anything to be grateful for because we look for and find what we believe to be true. And if you believe that nothing is a miracle you'll never look for or find anything to express gratitude for. If, however, you live as if everything's a miracle, you'll easily and consistently find things all throughout your day to be grateful for because you are looking to prove that belief is true and finding the evidence to back that up.
That means that, rather than lean towards a tendency to wait and only express gratitude for the pots of gold that occasional appear in your life, you'll choose to look for also the small, regular, daily occurences and express gratitude for them. Additionally, when you believe everything to be a miracle , you'll attract more miraculous things to you.