AND Cultivate the Season of Gratitude

November 15th, 2015

As the pace of the fall season accelerates into the December holidays, November is a great time to bask in the beauty of gratitude. With Thanksgiving dedicated to appreciating blessings in our lives, we are invited to pause our hectic lives to give thanks for all the people and experiences that grace our world and individual lives every day.

A singular holiday is wonderful AND what would happen if we carried its message every day of our lives? What could be different in our world if, instead of focusing on unfulfilled expectations and disappointments we carry for having attempted to control the people and circumstances in our lives and work, we pause to also ask what gift is hiding in those disappointments and unmet expectations?

The ability to reap the harvest of gifts, I believe, is more an orientation to life than a station in life. We don’t need for things to go any particular way, to have a certain amount of money, or anything else to look for the gift. What we may actually need is humility, the willingness to stop thinking of ourselves as the sole determiner of how the world should greet and respond to our wishes and demands.

Gratitude comes from the joy of knowing that we are free to receive what comes our way. We can be open and receptive when we recognize that we are not responsible for controlling our circumstances. In fact, any attempt to do so is an exercise in illusion and self-deception, usually resulting in pain or suffering (our own or others’).

The awareness that we are a part of a bigger system of interconnecting circles and relationships can be tremendously freeing. Security doesn’t come from titles and toys. It comes from the joy of being in the world, aware of its many gifts. AND we have the choice to cultivate gratitude for life’s gifts or not.

Maybe this season of thanksgiving can serve as a reminder of how different our world will be when we choose to find the gift and receive, with gratitude, whatever it brings us.

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