Thursday, November 26, 2009

Getting Gratitude

I love Thanksgiving because out of all the holidays, it is the least commercialized. Christmas has been turned into a shopping frenzy. Easter has become literally sugar-coated, with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans.

But then there’s Thanksgiving. Face it, marketing turkeys just isn’t very sexy. But it's more than that, you can’t manufacture and sell gratitude.

Gratitude is not forced optimism; it is not a denial of real pain and loss; it is not the power of positive thinking. it is not a focus on the good things on life.

It is a posture and a prayer.

Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Thanksgiving invites us to live our lives as if everything is a miracle:

The sky as dusk descends
The birth of a child
The community that comes together when there is a loss
The taste and texture of a perfectly ripened strawberry
People helping people
The abundance that is revealed when we share
The amount of light a single candle gives off in the darkness
The opening of one’s heart to love after it has been broken
A warm bed on a cold night

Thanksgiving invites us to remember the miracles that are waiting to be discovered in each and every day we are given, and to uncurl our fists and open our hearts to accept them.  That's how gratitude grows in our lives.

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