Gratitude is on my heart today with the holiday season and the issues we are facing in our world. As I am working toward building awareness for homelessness, as I am watching the news, as I am aware of challenges facing loved ones, gratitude is on my heart, mind and soul.
It can be hard to be grateful for things that are happening right now if the things that are happening are bad. Brother David Steindl-Rast author of, Gratefulness The Heart Of Prayer, states, “At every moment life gives you the opportunity to do something with what life gives you. Grateful living means learning that most of the time it’s the opportunity for joy. An opportunity to enjoy the fact that you can see, that you can walk that you can breathe."
Brother David Steindl-Rast goes on to explain that we should see everything as an opportunity. He believes that the current challenges that society faces is a huge opportunity. He explains, "It is a moment in time that is calling each and everyone of us to step into this opportunity. It is a gift, a great gift. We have the opportunity to stretch even further than people have ever stretched before. An opportunity to stretch to understand each other more, to listen to each other more. To come to a common hope."
He further explains that trust in life is the beginning, "It’s the foundation. We can withhold trust or we can give it. Even though I don’t see it right now in the midst of this challenge, I trust that life will give me good things. If we look back on our life, even the worst things that happened to us turned out to be life-giving. Stop, be present, and ask what is the opportunity that life is giving me at this moment and how can I enjoy it?"
Wowza, that can be a big challenge at times can't it? It has really helped me to trust in life and to have faith, even if I can't be grateful for it at the moment I can exercise faith and trust. I can attest to the growth and the opportunity within the challenge. Trust that life will give me good things, be grateful for those things, and choose the opportunity for joy.
Gratitude serves as an offset to the negativity. It opens up the opportunity for joy, for love, for hope, for compassion, and for forgiveness. Gratitude holds the power to change the lens through which we see the world. Let's all serve up some additional helpings of gratitude this holiday season. Let's stretch ourselves over the holidays and seek to understand each other more, to listen to each other more, to find the opportunity for joy, for love, and for hope.
“Daily it becomes clearer to me, gratitude is the celebration of love, just as love is the lived yes of joyful mutual belonging. Gratitude celebrates life with a joyful yes and every knot of the great network in which everything is connected to everything.” Brother David Steindl-Rast.