Jewish Journal

Gratitude is a Verb

by Beit T'shuvah

December 5, 2013 | 10:12 am

By Nicole Goodman

Every year at Thanksgiving dinner, my entire family goes around saying what they are grateful for. Year after year the same answers repeat themselves: family, friends, food, and roof over their head, etc. These are all things that I am continuously grateful for, but how do I show gratitude? At Shabbat the other week, Shy was talking about how doing T’Shuvah or gratitude was not only saying what you are grateful for but figuring out a way to act it out. This holiday season my job is to focus on the main things in my life I am grateful for and turning my gratitude into action. For me, it’s about creating new habits that allow me to show up and be responsible and accountable to the people I love. This year, my main focus is on my sister. She has always been there for me, yet I have always found ways in the past to shut down her love. I was constantly unreliable, unstable, and not trustworthy for so long. Over this past year, I have been able to slowly build back up the relationship I have constantly tried to destroy. It is very easy to say I am grateful for my sister, but finding a way to put that love and gratitude into action means so much more. Making sure I am available when she calls, being accountable to her, and allowing myself to be vulnerable with her are my ways of showing how grateful I am for her. When I do these things, not just during the holiday season but throughout the year, I feel whole. Constantly trying to live well in the way Beit T’Shuvah taught me has given me not only my sobriety but also a regained relationship with my sister, who is my best friend, and I am so grateful.

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