«And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the Lord had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there» (Joshua 4:8).
My twin sister, lnés, came to visit me in England in the summer of 2019 and stayed with me for three months. It was like we went back in time and were girls again. In those nearly ninety days together, we didn’t argue once. We shared every moment and laughed until we cried. finally, the day came when lnés was supposed to return to Argentina. I took her to the airport with a mixture of emotions: sadness, because she was leaving; but also gratitude for having had her with me.
I thought the adventure was over. However, unknown to me, my sister had been taking pictures of small details during her visit: ginger tea served in glass cups, some black pants, a salad dish with julienne-cut vegetables . . . When she returned to Argentina, she began sending me these photos, one a week, with small messages: «Thank you for having tea with me,» «Thank you for lending me your clothes,» «Thank you for the rich and healthy meals» . . . My sister created a photographic journal of gratitude! A travel logbook to revisit and smile.
According to positive psychology, gratitude is essential to our happiness. To be happy, we must combat hedonic adaptation. Our brain has the ability to adapt and survive different situations, good and bad. Unfortunately, the same ability that allows us to survive evil makes us accustomed to the good. For example, if we buy a late model car, we will be very satisfied for a while, but as soon as the novelty passes and we adapt to the change, we will no longer feel as happy.
The good news is that gratitude is excellent for combating hedonic adaptation. Stopping to savor a moment and express gratitude reactivates our happiness. A study by Martin Seligman showed that taking a moment at the end of the day to write down three things we’re grateful for can make us happier for six months. Therefore, put up a monument that will help you remember God’s presence in your life. Take a picture, whisper a prayer, send a letter; choose to be grateful.
Dear Lord, thank You for light, for taste, and the fragrances around me. I don’t want to forget any of Your blessings.