My Dear Friends,
I have recently been collecting my thoughts on gratitude – I must admit that given the devastating natural disasters we face year after year; the fact that so many of our precious, courageous service men and women will once again be away from the warmth of their families and homes; and the unsettled state of the world in general, my heart is indeed heavy. And, as a result I think to myself, “Where exactly does gratitude fit into this current picture?” It is then that my faith combined with my years of life experience nudges me, reminding me that gratitude’s grace is in the midst of it all – we just might have to dig a bit deeper – look a little closer — to reveal it.
“Sometimes our light goes out, but it is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.” ~Albert Schweitzer
Gratitude is contagious and creates a circle of love. During these past few weeks the depth of compassionate caring that exists within our community has once again come to our attention. Your love is energetic, selfless and immediate. And, as you lovingly reach out to your family and fellow community members, the seeds of gratitude are planted in the hearts of everyone involved. Your actions spring forth from hearts nourished by gratitude for a kindness shown to you and now that same energy finds its home in the hearts of others, ready to be shared when the opportunity presents itself. The ‘gratitude ripple effect’ is never-ending and is exactly the blessing our heavenly Father wishes for us to experience.
Let us each give thanks in our own way for our obvious blessings – family, health, friends, nourishment, success, etc. And we most likely will remember to give thanks for those hardships and setbacks that have taught us lessons or wound up impacting our lives in positive ways. In addition to these dear gifts, I would like to suggest that you take some time to reflect on, and express sincere gratitude for the blessings that are not so visible – the ones that live deep in your soul; memories that bring tears of both joy and sorrow; quiet kindnesses shown; opportunities to love the unlovable; the gift of forgiveness; an unexpected smile when most needed (or given); etc. These are the gifts that we so often take for granted – hushed ones that always whisper – never shout, but always leave their footprint on our hearts and souls. These are the gifts that propel us to give back to others, creating Gratitude’s Grace.
May we each be filled with the happiness of family, friends, loved ones and Gratitude’s Grace!