Gratitude has not come easy.
Tis’ the season to be grateful and to be honest I have been having a hard time getting there. It is not because I don’t have a lot to be grateful for, but more so because I cannot help but feel for those that are suffering, both in this country and across the world. Perhaps I have been shaken awake from my complacent bubble. This is not only about male or female, black or white, privileged or impoverished. It is about simple human suffering that we inflict upon ourselves, on others and the earth. To be honest, I don’t want to be freed of this unrest so that I may continue to explore my part in enabling it, as well as my part in the healing.
So today I will go to class to explore and teach on the essence of gratitude, in spite of it feeling clouded by the darker realities of the world. I am thankful to be surrounded by the spirit of my girls through whom I am reminded of the sweetness of wonderment and curiosity, of laughter and spontaneity. I am thankful for my sweet two year old niece, whom I met for the first time yesterday. Through her I experienced the innocence and goodness that all beings have; the simple pleasure of gathering acorns in the front yard and the lingering joy it evoked for the next hour to all those around her. I am thankful for my husband, Herb, who offers a steady, calm presence and big hearted love, no matter how long or how grueling his day has been. I am grateful to have spent the day with loving family, nourishing food and safe shelter.
I will continue to hold in my heart those who have less or little to nothing, those who struggle for basic human rights, safe shelter and freedom from harm. I hope to keep the heavy heart alit amidst the gratitude so that I can remember to do my part, however small or large. I hope to see with clarity where I, myself, become divided, feel righteous and move away from the heart’s capacity to include, accept and stand firm in the hopes for the kind of future and world that all beings and all of our children so deserve.