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Thanks

What the words thanks
feel like
Thanksgiving is a prefect time to talk about gratitude, appreciation
acknowledgment, grace, gratefulness, honor, indebtedness, obligation, praise, recognition, all words we use to express our profound love to another when we are truly thanking them, words we use in Mass as well.

Look at that list of words that you can use to express thanks, and you will find grace among them.  Grace given freely by God; it is His great mercy and love shown to us.  Grace is what keeps us going when times are hard.  Grace is that gift we give to each each other: it is the joy we share and the kindness we show.  Grace as Thanks giving is present in all aspects of our faith life.  It is in the Our Father.  It  is in the prayers we say before we receive the Great Gift of the Eucharist.  The word Eucharist itself means to give thanks; so why us it so hard for us to thank each other for jobs well done? And here I am speaking of thanking our mothers.

This is something that many of my mom directees struggle with, the idea of thanks giving.  Not that they haven't taught their children to say please and thank you, not they don't show gratitude to others for what they have done; no this struggle comes when thanks giving is withheld to them for the jobs they do on a daily basis.
Gratitude, thanksgiving are all part of nurturing.  One of the big buzz words going around in business is motivation, the idea that thanking employees boosts productivity; imagine that! Something moms have been saying for eons!  To show, say and express thanks is to acknowledge the effect of a job well done.  You the "thanker" are expressing an appreciation for the time it took to do that thing that was done.  The thanked is honoured by the inherit praise that thanks gives. There is a recognition on both sides that if this thing wasn't done it wasn't going to get done, so we are indebted to the doer for the job done.  Giving thanks is a relational act, an understanding that by doing for each other we are showing that we understand that life would be less if we did not care for each other

Robert Emmons
"Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier" written by Dr. Robert Emmons is an examination of how thanks improves our lives.  
Book Description: A revolutionary new book released this summer makes people think twice about holding a grudge. According to Dr. Robert Emmons, psychology professor and research scientist at the University of California at Davis, people who view life as a gift and consciously acquire an "attitude of gratitude" will experience multiple advantages ' and he can prove it. In "Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier," Dr. Emmons backs up his claim with eight years of intensive research on gratitude. "Without gratitude, life can be lonely, depressing and impoverished," said Dr. Emmons, editorin-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology and the first-ever scientific psychologist to conduct such a study. "Gratitude enriches human life. It elevates, energizes, inspires, and transforms. People are moved, opened, and humbled through expressions of gratitude."

So why do so many moms feel unappreciated, "unthanked"?  I believe it comes from a long held image of mom, that image that mom is always there, almost like wallpaper.  Its the 1950's image of mom.  Talk with moms who work out of the home and they will tell you that they come home and do more work again;  it doesn't matter the generation, that attitude about moms, mothers, mothering still stands.  I had one directee rage once that she thought she was a glorified maid. How do we change this?

We change this by recognizing the spiritual aspect of thanksgiving, that many moms do not feel; I believe that comes from a profound loss of self nurturing: that grace we give freely to ourselves.


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