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Say “Thank You”

Another important pointer I picked up while visiting my Guru recently was regarding saying “thank you”. When I was a kid, I was groomed by my parents and teachers to say “thank you” to express my gratitude. I faithfully learned and have used this expression throughout my life. While visiting Hans in Cambodia, I noticed the most unusual thing. After thoroughly enjoying a meal or receiving a gift it felt awkward to say thank you. The uttering of those words disrupted the natural flow of genuine gratitude that I was feeling. That gratitude was so intense, that some days simply making eye contact with strangers in the street, would trigger them to break out into a big, spontaneous smile.

One day, I found myself thanking Hans for dinner and again felt awkward. He looked at me and said something like “you don’t need to say thank you, just be happy”. At that moment I could see how useless and redundant those words were. When I am already feeling happy, that vibe speaks for itself and if I’m not happy, then those aren’t the right words for the moment. After that realization, I began to see other times that I behave in a similar way. For example, I noticed that while enjoying a conversation with a friend, I nod and gesture at times to “show my interest”, yet again it is unnecessary. I am already interested and the gesturing actually slightly disrupts my ability to be attentive. Whereas concentrating on my gratitude intensifies my attentiveness. And if I’m not genuinely interested, then the nodding is just fake. In that situation, I need to decide if engaging in the conversation has some spiritual value. If yes, then I consciously focus my attention on the conversation, if no then it’s time to excuse myself from from it.

These and other realizations lately have pointed to the same theme. I can honor those around me by honoring my vibe more and talking less.

God Bless

Addendum:

After writing this post, something about it bothered me.  I realized that during those awkward “thank you” moments, I wasn’t feeling that intense radiating gratitude mentioned above.  It was often slipping away at those moments and the words “thank you” were an attempt to make up for actually being grateful.  One of the challenges that I faced during my visit to Cambodia, was the fluctuating inner state of being.  I quickly shifted from intense love and gratitude, to overwhelming anxieties and insecurities.  Saying positive or loving things when feeling stormy inside can be okay, it depends on my intentions.  I often do it as a conscious reminder of my goal, but in Cambodia when I reflect I can see I was denying the way I really felt and trying to use words to cover it up.

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