It is most certainly an overused word this time of year. It gets thrown around at the Thanksgiving dinner table as a preface for a forced declaration of some thing(s) you are happy to have. Of course it is always in our best interest to be grateful even if it’s only said once a year in an awkward fashion, but really, the practice of gratitude is not limited to such occasions. In my own humble opinion being grateful doesn’t necessarily require an outward proclamation, “I AM SO GRAAAATEFUUULLL”, even though that is fantastic and I do do that quite often just being the person that I am (a rather verbose individual, as it stands).
The practice of gratitude can come in a quiet form of respect and recognition of life as it is.
How often do we only count our blessings as the obviously great kind? Family, friends, health, a job, roof over our head, food on the table. No-brainers, right? Yes. However, none of these things would be obvious answers if not for their complete opposites.
I’m grateful for the times I’ve felt sad and alone so I can fully appreciate the love that I have. I’m grateful for the days when nothing went right and I truly could not see the point in all the hardship until one day that answer came. And I am eternally grateful for the organic process of all our lives that never fails to provide us with just the right amount of ups and downs to prove that we don’t and never will have it all figured out.
Even gratitude has its opposite emotion and I am grateful for that too. For me, and I offer this thought to all of you, the practice of gratitude is understanding that you are allowed to live in the complexity of mixed emotions, of many days that are simply just “fine”, of working hard even when you don’t quite know what you’re doing it for, and having more moments than you’d wish to admit when you aren’t grateful at all. And that’s okay. Enjoy the feelings of thankfulness when they come to you and try your very best to respect the absence of it as well. Search for that place inside of yourself that recognizes the silent moments are just as loud as the ones full of sound.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
with love, k