Gratitude has never come easy for me. When you grow up being taught (by action if not word) that everything is transactional, everything dependent, then it becomes hard to accept gifts - whether they are physical gifts, gifts of service, or even gifts of self-care. Everything given means that something of equal or greater value must be returned. If someone pays attention to you, then they expect something back. It is irrelevant that it may be something you don’t want to give. What is important is that you give it.