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(1) I found this question to be very interesting. I kept thinking, "what is real gratitude?" I believe everyone has their own definition of real gratitude. It took me a bit to fully understand gratitu

(1)

I found this question to be very interesting. I kept thinking, "what is real gratitude?" I believe everyone has their own definition of real gratitude. It took me a bit to fully understand gratitude, but I see it as the following: when one is appreciative of their everyday events and experiences. This would also include negative experiences. There was one experience in which I had a hard time forgiving someone. I was carrying so much anger and resentment for a good while until I realized I was letting those emotions consume/control me. I finally had a moment where it hit me, I did not want that person who caused me so much betrayal to have that certain power over me. In the forgiving chapter of our textbook, it states forgiveness is letting go of negative emotions. Additionally, you are no longer in the victim position. In my opinion, this type of forgiveness cannot happen without gratitude. Gratitude brings clarity into every experience, even negative ones and helps you thoroughly appreciate what you have overcome and how you have grown. Although I forgave someone which caused me to experience gratitude, I do not think you have to be necessarily forgiving (as in speak to that person and say “I forgive you”) to have those same emotions. As you are dealing with it and overcoming whatever it might be, there is a part of you that can begin to feel grateful and free.  

(2)

Yes, both being forgiving and having gratitude will cause you to have a far more happy and fulfilling life. Forgiveness is a difficult concept to master for a lot of people, myself included. Forgiveness means that we are letting go of all of the negative emotions that we may associate with a person such as holding a grudge and replacing them with positive emotions. This is important for us for both mental and physical reasons. Eliminating that extra stress that we hold when we are holding a grudge can make us physically healthier since stress negatively impacts our bodies. With less negative energy, we have room for more positive thoughts that will increase our life satisfaction. In regards to gratitude, it is necessary for us to be thankful for the things that we have in order to attract more positive components to our lives. I have found that the more grateful I am for the situation, things, and people around me, the happier I feel. The less time that we spend seeking something that we think will bring us happiness and the more time we spend being grateful for the things we already have the better. I really enjoyed writing the letter of gratitude this week and I would like to incorporate gratitude into my life more often. Being grateful has been associated with higher optimism, hope, and life satisfaction, which are all things that I would love to have more of in my life

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