On November 1st, our Love and inspiration gathering had a powerful discussion about gratitude. We talked about how gratitude, when practiced, has the potential to be the tapestry of our lives. Everything we give thanks for leads to something else. For example, we talked about giving thanks for indoor plumbing, which led to us giving thanks for our showers, our toilets, our dishwashers, all the appliances that use water. This led to us giving thanks for those that have given to ensure water flows into our homes, which led to a discussion of how often we take things for granted. It is not until our water is shut off for some reason, albeit temporarily that we realize how grateful we are for having it and when it is restored, we are immensely grateful. How rarely do we think about all the people in this world who cannot just get up and get a glass of water? Those who do not have access to clean water? Those who have to walk for miles to even bring water to their families. It is when we stop and follow the thread that we begin to have a deeper understanding not only of what we are grateful for, but why we appreciate it as much as we do.
Gratitude is more than a state of mind or an attitude, it just is. Every moment, every experience, every animal, person, plant, place, thing, dream is something to give thanks for in our lives. When we begin to give thanks for all things and in all circumstances then we begin to recognize the presence of the Ultimate in all of life.
What if we got in the habit of saying thank you, not just when somebody did something like open the door, but in all circumstances? How much higher would you happiness set point be if we gave thanks for every situation, for every experience, regardless of whether it was easy or challenging? What if we followed the Christian teaching and gave thanks in all circumstances? When we thank someone, we are recognizing that they are blessing us and if we are constantly being blessed, then we recognize that we are also being used to bless and that we are constantly being touched by the Divine.
What if we stopped taking things for granted or feeling like we were entitled to everything which flowed into our lives? What if we were grateful for what we had without feeling we should have more or desiring what others have or being jealous because someone had something we want? What if we were able to just give thanks for what we have? As a colleague of mine used to say, “What God has for me is for me. What God has for you is for you.”
So just for today, let us feel the blessings which wash over us and give thanks.