Random Thoughts on Thanks (365 Days of Spirited Living — DAY 329)
“‘Enough’ is a feast.”
— Buddhist Proverb
I don’t think there is enough that can be said about gratitude and what it does to us on the inside. I also don’t think there will ever be a limited amount of things for which we can express our thanks. Every day we enter presents one thing or another by which we are humbled. The people, the places, the stuff, the events: All serve as an impetus for us to choose gratitude over greed. To let grace that is a mother of gratitude hijack us in the best possible way.
That is kind of the thing about gratitude. Nothing slips past it or is excused because of it. It is just there, waiting to be acknowledged, waiting to be accepted, waiting like a gift to be given. How you thank is how you live. How you thank is how you respond and react to daily encounters. How you thank is how you think about your blessings and abide in the fact that you are indeed blessed far more than you realize. How you thank is how you serve.
Think for a moment about the one whole day that the entire world stops to acknowledge its blessings. You know that beautiful feeling that something is going right in the world. Something is being accepted and given for what it is. That grace is being infiltrated in the darkest of places. That power of all souls joining together in unison and oneness to embrace at least the idea that we should be radically changed by our blessings. Grateful for the fact that we are here. Grateful for the fact that we get to live. Grateful in unlikely places and for unorthodox things.
Now forget for a moment about this one day in November that the world stops to realize how blessed it is. Think about the next day when we forget most of the blessings we already have and go in search of more stuff that we don’t need and that we will well forget about by the time Christmas rolls around. Do you sense the difference? How fickle and flighty we are to one day be engaged with thanks and the next to be so forgetful of it. Can you carry on that feeling? Can you extend that beautiful thought for at least one more day that the thanks we have in our hearts makes our part of the world better?
If we can thank on this one day in late November, perhaps we can do the same on the next day, the next week, the next month, the next 365 days. The attitude of gratefulness creates a melody in our hearts. It keeps us humble, keeps us happy, keeps us glowing in the brilliance and the beauty of what was and what is and what is to come. We begin to live less like we’re entitled and more like we’re expectant. Expectant of mountain tops and accepting of valley lows. Deserving of nothing but so blessed with everything. The thanks knows no conditions or qualifiers. It just is.
Gratitude is the opportunity we all need. A product of the grace we all need to give and to experience on a deeper level. Not just on one day when we feel like we can let it all out. But especially on all the rest of the days when it seems so far away, so impossible, so unlikely. It means we let others pass us by on the highway without giving the middle finger. And the long lines in grocery stores or at coffee shops no longer irritate us. Babies crying. People shouting. Horns honking. Noise. Busyness. Everywhere. We just live in the grace and the gratitude. We breathe it. We live it. We awake with it. We sleep with it.
Could there be anything more powerful than giving thanks and giving grace. Is there anything more beautiful than receiving appreciation and that same grace that transforms us from sinners into saints, wretches into angels, broken beings into whole humans, bread into dinner, darkness into light, shadows into rays of sunshine, gifts into soul joy, existence into living, happiness into forever hallelujahs. We don’t deserve all the gifts we get but grace is to blame for that. Life is a constant process of receiving and unwrapping and giving gifts. Gratefully. Gracefully.
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
— William Arthur Ward