Appreciating Kindness-the Practice of Gratitude

This is week 5 of the kindness challenge.  I have been home sick for a good part of the week with the horrible cold that is going around–I’m almost better now.  The good news–being sick is a great opportunity to appreciate the kindness around me!

Gratitude--Brene Brown
Photo by Susan Bruck from Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

My family and friends were so kind to me.  They almost always are, but I appreciate it more when I’m more in need.  Also, thank goodness I’ve learned along the way to accept kindness from others.  I used to feel that I had to do everything myself.  I never thought I was perfect, but I wanted other people to think I was.  It seems weird to even write that.  I just wanted people to think I had it all handled.  I often did–and do.  But not always.  I’ve had to learn to make mistakes and be alright with it.   I love the  book by Brene Brown called The Gifts of Imperfection: Let go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.

fail better1
Artwork by Susan Bruck

This is one of my favorite quotes.  I first found it in a craft calendar that I had many years ago.  Then a friend of mine told me that there’s an online literary magazine  called “Fail Better.”

Brene Brown says:

Until we can receive with an open heart,  we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.

And:

One of the greatest barriers to connection is the cultural importance we place on “going it alone.” Somehow we’ve come to equate success with not needing anyone. Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we’re very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves. It’s as if we’ve divided the world into “those who offer help” and “those who need help.” The truth is that we are both.

Until I knew that in myself, I don’t think I truly experienced gratitude.  What a huge life lesson!  And how much better my life has been because of it.  I’ve allowed myself to experience the whole range of emotions life has to offer.  And I’ve learned to allow others to support me.  And I’ve been truly grateful for it.

Last Sunday, my daughters were both here and prepared a Mother’s Day brunch for me.

Resized_20160612_144828 It’s gotten more challenging as my diet has gotten more restrictive.  But they prepared a meal that was delicious and even included dessert!

I felt both grateful for their kindness and amazed at the wonderful, kind, thoughtful, lovely women they’ve become.  Two days later, they prepared a father’s day dinner for their dad before my eldest returned to New York.

Here’s one more quote from The Gifts of Imperfection:

We’re a nation hungry for more joy: Because we’re starving from a lack of gratitude.

Not only was my stomach filled with delicious food, but my heart was filled with joy and gratitude for my daughters, and all the wonderful people in my life who love and care for me.

That’s it for now!

As always, thanks for stopping by!!

I am a writer, handworker, artist and teacher (a WHAT!), and a mom of two beautiful daughters who are amazingly 17 and 21. I am working on getting my first book, a fantasy novel for young people, published and am busy spinning on my new spinning wheel. I have been a Waldorf early childhood teacher for 10 years now, and before that, I was a lawyer. Teaching is much more fun.

17 thoughts on “Appreciating Kindness-the Practice of Gratitude

    • She really is amazing. I’m reading her newest (I think) book now–Rising Strong–about what it takes to get back up when we fall and how important it is to integrate all of our stories.
      And I’m pretty much over my cold, too. Thanks!

  1. I really enjoyed your post, Susan. I’m sorry that you weren’t feeling well, but how nice to be so spoiled by your daughters. It’s wonderful as a parent to be able to see the results of your parenting.
    I love all the quotes by Brene Brown. I’ll have to check out the magazine “Fail Better”. It sounds interesting. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I can identify with the desire to succeed on your own; even as a child, I wanted to be the island no man is. It’s far easier to accept help if you’re not made to feel inferior to the giver because you need it. 🙂

  3. What a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing! I hope you’re better by now. I’ve had this tab open on my browser for almost a week now but just reading it because I’ve also been sick. The pictures of the brunch are just lovely!! What a great feeling! I’m so happy for you! ❤

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