From Ashes, to a Spark, to a Glow, to a Fire: How a Time of Reflection Stokes a Fire of Gratitude
What do you do when it's hard to find even one thing to feel grateful for? In this season of Thanksgiving, how do you hold onto the glow of gratitude?
Season of Gratitude
Have you ever had a day, a week, or even a season for which you could not think of one thing to feel grateful? It seems I (Grace) just finished a week like that. “Well, this is just great,” I thought to myself, “The week I am scheduled to write a blog about gratitude is the week I feel absolutely none.” Sigh. Big sigh. Eye roll. Shrug. Where was the ever-present sense of gratitude for my good health, my family, and my home? Getting honest with myself, I only felt the emptiness that had found a home in my heart this week.
Enter in a moment of reflection. "Alright, I won't deny that is how I am feeling", I said to myself. “Let's go smaller and look inside; surely there is something that I can feel grateful for.” I looked around. I saw my legs. I see that I am walking on legs that feel no pain and easily carry me across the room. This has not always been the case. So yes, I am so glad that I don't feel pain in my hips or knees or feet. And then when I thought about all the things my legs can still do with ease….I felt that glow spread in my heart for those moments that I focus my attention on the ease with which I move about my home doing chores.
Not only are chores pain free, but my legs enable me to enjoy yoga, swimming, cycling, picking up my grandchildren, and traveling around the world. I am so grateful I can move about with ease. My legs give me independence. My legs give me freedom. My legs take me where I can learn new things, meet new people, and have fun. Yes, I am so grateful for my legs!
Glow of Gratitude
In that moment of reflection, I held on to that glow of gratitude. That small flame continued its slow burn, and somewhere deep inside I was relieved that I had at least one thing for which I truly was grateful. After giving myself some quiet moments to think, my heart quickly shifted from feeling attitude to feeling gratitude. I wasn't pretending or just saying words that didn't resonate in my heart. I would rather feel one true feeling of authentic gratitude than pretend I felt “so grateful” when really I was feeling lost or alone and seeing little to feel grateful for. Had I not acknowledged my immediate feelings of sadness, I don’t think I could have gone under the surface to find deeper feelings of gratitude.
So as the gratitude season arrives, how are you feeling? Do you feel like you’re in a rut, stressed, or alone?Are you struggling to see the positives in your life? We know first-hand that you are not alone. We also know that sometimes it does take a little mind-shift, a little effort to get there. If this is you, take a moment to sit still and quiet your mind. Turn off distractions, and mentally seek deep inside your soul, spirit, or psyche, and feel the glow of remembering what you are truly grateful for. Keep thinking, keep meditating, keep going deep within. You may be surprised at how that glow spreads into a fire of gratitude!