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MY WORK IS LOVING THE WORLD
    By  Mary Oliver
 
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird - 
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

Which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.
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1 hour ago, Orwar said:

   Gratitude and love are not the same thing. Gratitude is a tool with which we establish harmony. When we are in harmony, we are happier and more prosperous, and more likely to be capable of creating strong relationships that may develop into love.

Yes, I agree...no one attribute can encompass something so profound as love.  Perhaps 'gratitude' is only one of the attributes.

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Washing dishes is the only way I know how!

Honestly, love has always been a question mark for me. Is it a feeling? Is it a level of commitment? What is it!?

What I do know is that love is clearer to me when it is shown through some level of sacrifice. Like can you really say you love someone when you're always completely selfish?

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The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

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5 hours ago, Orwar said:

Gratitude is a tool with which we establish harmony. When we are in harmony, we are happier and more prosperous, and more likely to be capable of creating strong relationships that may develop into love. 

Well there ya go. Gratitude is a tool, with which we craft the other things mentioned in this thread, including love. Throughout my life, when given a choice between having a desirable thing or the tools to make it, I often choose the tools.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
Constant refinement.
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30 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Gratitude is a tool, with which we craft the other things mentioned in this thread, including love.

Nicely put. 

I think gratitude, and not just to people, is enormously important. What worries me a bit is when it is commodified and treated like a currency in an exchange. When, in other words, it is part of a quid pro quo -- I'll do this thing and you will be appropriately grateful (and do things for me in exchange, by implication).

Gratitude is, as the etymology of the word implies, most valuable when freely given, rather than expected. It should be, like (ideally) the thing for which it is given, a gift, unlooked for perhaps, but . . . gratefully embraced and accepted.

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30 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Nicely put. 

I think gratitude, and not just to people, is enormously important. What worries me a bit is when it is commodified and treated like a currency in an exchange. When, in other words, it is part of a quid pro quo -- I'll do this thing and you will be appropriately grateful (and do things for me in exchange, by implication).

Gratitude is, as the etymology of the word implies, most valuable when freely given, rather than expected. It should be, like (ideally) the thing for which it is given, a gift, unlooked for perhaps, but . . . gratefully embraced and accepted.

I was pondering whether to respond to this or not, since it would have been another "definition of a word" cross-comment. I have not, nor never have (I think) considered gratitude as a quid pro quo. It can be an impetus for pay it forward, but I don't view that as a currency exchange. I decided to do a quick Google look up, and what do you know? 

image.png.7fcdb6ea7a5b9a96330cf868186991e5.png

"and to RETURN kindness."

Eek.

Not all dictionaries included the "return" part.

Gratitude doesn't have to involve another person, either. I can be grateful for being able to view a gorgeous sunset. I'm really grateful that one, perfect, scarlet maple leaf landed at my feet today.

Maybe I'm just a self-centered schmuck because if, say, someone buys me my favorite cup of coffee out of the blue, I will feel grateful (and warm and fuzzy) but I won't feel obligated to return the favor. I might return the favor, or something similar, but hopefully not out of obligation.

The no strings attached version of gratitude allows the heart to open up, and to be more receptive to all the little things that happen to us on a daily basis. Or it can. And that goes back to priming the pump for agape.

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2 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Nicely put. 

I think gratitude, and not just to people, is enormously important. What worries me a bit is when it is commodified and treated like a currency in an exchange. When, in other words, it is part of a quid pro quo -- I'll do this thing and you will be appropriately grateful (and do things for me in exchange, by implication).

Gratitude is, as the etymology of the word implies, most valuable when freely given, rather than expected. It should be, like (ideally) the thing for which it is given, a gift, unlooked for perhaps, but . . . gratefully embraced and accepted.

I don't remember her name, but years ago I listened to an NPR interview with an evolutionary biologist who was also an atheist. She mentioned how important gratitude was to her, stating approximately "I wake up every morning in awe of the world around me and grateful for it. I simply don't know who to thank". That's me.

My gratitude is for the world at large. People are only a small part of that. Nature neither expects gratitude, nor rewards it. Gratitude is its own reward.

Back to the OP...
I was washing dishes last night, thinking about this. One of the little joys I get from doing dishes is watching water droplets skeeter around the bottom of the sink. I first noticed this when I was very young. Dad had noticed this when he was very young, and had no explanation for them despite searching libraries for one. When I see those drops, I think of our shared appreciation for the mystery of them. I've read many articles about the phenomenon over the years and find that it's still a mystery. I get great pleasure out of knowing how much there is to understand about those little water droplets and I'm always happy to see them.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208511/

In winter, I often bring my hand close to the flow of water from a faucet, to see electrostatic attraction/repulsion bend the stream as it falls. I can touch the faucet body with my other hand, discharging myself and bringing the stream back to straight, then shuffle my feet on the area rug in front of the sink and watch the stream deform once again.

I always fill the sink with water before adding the detergent, I then dribble a little into the middle of the sink and watch any bubbles or floaty bits dash to the edges. Soap reduces surface tension, unbalancing the forces at the water's surface.

I could go on...

There's no shortage of little things to be grateful for throughout the day.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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7 hours ago, Orwar said:

   I'm just going to drop this here.

 

   Gratitude and love are not the same thing. Gratitude is a tool with which we establish harmony. When we are in harmony, we are happier and more prosperous, and more likely to be capable of creating strong relationships that may develop into love. 

I actually have that gratitude Journal! It's awesome.

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5 minutes ago, Gatogateau said:

The no strings attached version of gratitude allows the heart to open up, and to be more receptive to all the little things that happen to us on a daily basis. Or it can. And that goes back to priming the pump for agape.

Well, that was beautifully said. Thank you.

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2 minutes ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

I actually have that gratitude Journal! It's awesome.

I have a friend who more or less forced me to keep one of these for about a half year. 

It's a really lovely idea, but, sad to say, I was not grateful to her for making me do it. Good for you, though!

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54 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:
58 minutes ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

I actually have that gratitude Journal! It's awesome.

I have a friend who more or less forced me to keep one of these for about a half year. 

It's a really lovely idea, but, sad to say, I was not grateful to her for making me do it. Good for you, though!

...would set on fire any gratitude journal presented to her.

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1 hour ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

I have a friend who more or less forced me to keep one of these for about a half year. 

It's a really lovely idea, but, sad to say, I was not grateful to her for making me do it. Good for you, though!

Hrm, yeah, I'd dislike being forced to as well - and frankly, from what I've seen of you this far, you don't really strike me as a person who'd have a real use for it. You don't seem dissatisfied with life, unlike me. But I was a bit irritated at first, I might add, since the notion that I had to be the one gratefull, while life keeps throwing lemons at me, pubed my pride the wrong way, heh. It didn't feel just, in a sense. However, I knew his intentions, so I gave it a try, and it worked for me so far. Even tho I need reminders to write in it, heh. I tend to forget or am distracted. 

As for a definition of love, I have none, I need none. I know when I love somebody, and that's really all that matters to me. Trying to attach a quality level on love feels wrong to me.

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36 minutes ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

But I was a bit irritated at first, I might add, since the notion that I had to be the one gratefull, while life keeps throwing lemons at me, pubed my pride the wrong way, heh. It didn't feel just, in a sense. However, I knew his intentions, so I gave it a try, and it worked for me so far. Even tho I need reminders to write in it, heh. I tend to forget or am distracted

This was one of the things that bothered me a little about it -- that it might, possibly, have the effect of essentially telling you to shut up about the injustices and unfairness, and just be satisfied with what life has given you. As Alexander Pope argued, "Whatever is, is right." God knows better than you, etc. Yeah, screw that, right?

But I don't think that's the intention, or the effect if it's approached properly. And it sounds as though you are doing that.

Mine was a phone app. God I hated the "reminders."

36 minutes ago, Sukubia Scarmon said:

As for a definition of love, I have none, I need none. I know when I love somebody, and that's really all that matters to me. Trying to attach a quality level on love feels wrong to me

I agree about the "quality" thing entirely. And even the different kinds of love one might identify overlap and blur and merge. There's more than a little of the "divine" in how I feel about the people in my life whom I love.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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Where do people get the time?
To:
A - Read the warblings of others?
B - Preach said mental illness, (religion), to others? (in whatever guise).
C - Reshape their entire lives based upon what others say? (someone you've never met).

Historical writing/s that REALLY matter:
->Bedside table note from goddess grandmother Jeannie: (R.I.P <3)

"Pancakes again this morning our little darling?
That makes 98 pancakes since you got out of hospital two weeks ago love!
see you at Brekkie - love Nan. xoxoxo"

Me: *runs out squealing with Joy.... Pancakes again Nanna! Pancakes please!! ❤️❤️ *hug hug *kiss kiss *giggle giggle. 

Edited by Maryanne Solo
Giggled it... Just a little bit...
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58 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

This was one of the things that bothered me a little about it -- that it might, possibly, have the effect of essentially telling you to shut up about the injustices and unfairness, and just be satisfied with what life has given you.

or being grateful for having injustices and unfairness to fight against if that is what makes you happy. Being grateful to be a person willing and motivated to war against such things. Not everyone is that way. Being grateful for not being an oppressor.

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8 hours ago, Gatogateau said:

Maybe I'm just a self-centered schmuck because if, say, someone buys me my favorite cup of coffee out of the blue, I will feel grateful (and warm and fuzzy) but I won't feel obligated to return the favor. I might return the favor, or something similar, but hopefully not out of obligation.

Maybe "receiving gifts" isn't your love language...

https://www.5lovelanguages.com/

this is actually a really useful (and free) tool

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25 minutes ago, Akane Nacht said:

Maybe "receiving gifts" isn't your love language...

https://www.5lovelanguages.com/

this is actually a really useful (and free) tool

I was introduced to the love languages a few years ago and have found it to be an incredibly insightful tool in my relations to others as well as helping me understand what love language spoke to me best.

1.Words of Affirmation

2.Acts of Service

3.Receiving Gifts

4.Quality Time

5.Physical Touch

Thank you for the reminder as I haven't looked at it for a while now and need to.

Edited by Arielle Popstar
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54 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

This was one of the things that bothered me a little about it -- that it might, possibly, have the effect of essentially telling you to shut up about the injustices and unfairness, and just be satisfied with what life has given you. As Alexander Pope argued, "Whatever is, is right." God knows better than you, etc. Yeah, screw that, right?

But I don't think that's the intention, or the effect if it's approached properly. And it sounds as though you are doing that.

Mine was a phone app. God I hated the "reminders."

I agree about the "quality" thing entirely. And even the different kinds of love one might identify overlap and blur and merge. There's more than a little of the "divine" in how I feel about the people in my life whom I love.

I found that it doesn't have any of those effects on me , actually, because I don't focus on the things that are unfair with it. It's kinda hard to describe, it's like.. they become detached from each other. Injustice and unfairness still happens, naturally, and they still do drag me down - I do suffer from depression after all - but now I those events sometimes don't hit me as hard, or linger as long as before, because I have a reminder that there's still good stuff, and things that I got so used to, that I forgot to see them. But everyones experience with things like that is different.
I usually just block apps function to send me reminders as soon as they do. No, I don't need a random video recomendation youtube app, thank you. >_>

I had people try and tell me that it's not real love until an arbitrary set amount of time/effort was put into the relationship. I also had people tell me I need to love all family members, no matter what, simply because we share blood, or question the love I have for my pets. 

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