Gratitude is an expansive opening of the heart that contains deep appreciation. It receives everything that is being offered without judgment. It doesn't seek to change the moments of our lives but instead simply honors what is there. There is no push or pull to change anything.
Warming our heart to being grateful isn’t always so easy. We want things to be a certain way and, with so many pains and sorrows experienced, we’ve built up some pretty sturdy preferences of how we think things should be. We’ve attached a lot of expectation to how we want things to show up and, in turn, create much suffering and sorrow if outcome doesn’t meet our expectation.
For instance, if we honestly express how much we care for another, are we disappointed, saddened, or hurt if this is not reciprocated? Do we need another to love us to a similar degree in order to love them? If it is not returned in the way that we would like, do we add feelings of resentment, anger, or criticism into the mix? What is our definition of love then?
When we say “Thank You”, is this a rote passage of words, a brief sign of acknowledgment, or are we able to stop and truly thank, not for the physical gift that was received but for the intention that lies beneath? Can we truly and simply accept the kindness and generosity of another? If not, what is this uncomfortableness about?
Are we able to give or receive freely without keeping score? Do we feel uneasy if one person in a relationship gives more than another, whether money, time, attention, referrals, or whatever it may be? Do we work harder to make it feel more even or feel resentful if there is a continual imbalance?
These are all really big questions but I think important as we reflect and gain more awareness of our lives. So much of what we do is habituated. It takes effort to slow down and notice what is present. Gratitude is difficult when we are distracted. If we are moving quickly through our day, it’s much more challenging to notice the beauty that surrounds us, the little offerings of life. These offerings are both inside and outside of us and they are abundant..the sense of oneness as we watch the snow gently falling, the pleasantry of the coffee shop clerk, the coworker who stopped by “just to check in and say Hi”. Our simple act of paying attention is enough to offer gratitude. Slowing down to meet the moments of our life as they are, without pushing or pulling to change them, allows gratitude to naturally arise. When we show up to see what’s there, letting go of our desires and fears around outcome, gratitude touches our heart.
As the holidays come and go, I don’t want to lose sight of how I show up to give and receive. A gratitude list will become a stronger part of my daily practice - 3 reflective of the eternal world and 3 reflective of my internal world. One that I am eternally grateful for is each one of you. I am deeply grateful for all that you do in working to make this a more peaceful and loving world. I am grateful for the challenges you take on to live a more authentic life, to listen to your own personal Truth, and to keep showing up. I am so blessed to have each and every one of you in my life and community, even if we have never physically met. We are still here together. We are connected. I am truly grateful. And Thank You, Secret Elf MC, for the beautiful handmade bulb. I will brighten my holiday trees for all the years to come.
May your holidays be blessed with lots of love and gratitude.
May you be free in all that you do.
May love guide your way and fill your heart.
Peace and Many, Many Blessings!!
Mindfulness & Stress Management Coach
As always, I’d love your feedback, comments, and insights on what has been shared. Feel free to give me a shout or leave a message!!