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Sue Bruckner Engstrom / Gratitude  / A thank-you letter to Gratitude
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A thank-you letter to Gratitude

Dear Gratitude,
At the risk of sounding superbly over dramatic I need to say thank you for saving my life. Not necessarily saving me from death of my body but rather from death of my soul. Really. I am over the top thankful for your existence in my life.

You were gifted to me when I was in high school. High school was not my friend. This was well before I realized what a gift my introversion and highly sensitive nature is . You can imagine. Shy, quiet, living in the wake of two older not-shy, not-quiet super popular siblings. This was a time of body shaming, awkward conversations and little self-love or rather lots of self-loathing. On top of this watching my mother pass out each night in her chair after drinking too much. Anyway, back to the point. My dad, who lived many states away, gifted you to me by encouraging a nightly gratitude practice. For some reason my teenage self listened to this advice and each night before bed I would go over my day and list at least three things that happened that day that I was grateful for. I have held onto and expanded this practice for over two decades now.

Long life story short, I really didn’t realize the extent of your influence over me, Gratitude, until one day recently I woke up and realized I was resilient as fuck (excuse me) and that I have you to thank. So, thank you from the bottom of my enormously sensitive heart for guiding me along this painful journey (because really – who’s journey isn’t painful?). I could have many times gone the route my mother did, a route that led to her early death. I could have stayed in a self-loathing, body-shaming mindset that plagued my teens and early twenty’s. The one that had me screaming in self-loathing when I looked in the mirror or when the horribly wrong for me men that I fell for treated me poorly yet again. But I didn’t stay in tumultuous land for any longer than necessary and I won’t get stuck there when this life is throwing punches – and oh my goodness, have there been punches. I will move forward stronger and more resilient because of you.

I turn to you often, Gratitude. At first it wasn’t always easy but over time your presence in my life has become natural and habitual. Your beauty and power never cease to amaze me. I cherish you.

Yours truly,
SueBe

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