I have grown to deeply appreciate the life I am having.
That sense of appreciation took some growing into.
I appreciate the life I am already having. I do not wait for the life I wish I was having before I choose to give thanks.
I have kept a gratitude journal for years. It is the first thing I do each and every day. Some days it is effortless. Other days it requires a bit of pondering. I sit with my mug of java and my journal until I have written down five things for which I feel grateful.
It used to bother me if my list seemed to take a bit of effort. Now I know it is part of the dynamic of being an alive and awakening human. I have come to actually know myself as a living dynamic. I am an unfolding. Some days I rise with more energy and vitality than on other days. Some mornings things that I appreciate spring forward easily. If I am feeling a bit more tired, I may stare blankly at the page for a period of time. Resistance to that experience is not helpful. I appreciate the fact that I remain faithful to my practice regardless of the ease with which it may happen. I am thankful that I remain committed to doing it. My life is better because of it. And I can be grateful for that each and every day.
For the past couple of decades, I have not only listed and felt things that I am grateful for. I also feel a sense of appreciation with my relationship to even things I may not like or prefer. I feel grateful FOR and I feel grateful FROM. My thankfulness is contextual. It is subjective. I am grateful for so many things in my life. That is for certain. And over the years my consciousness itself has become what I think of as a “thank you dynamic.” I do not need a specific thing or things to focus my thankfulness on. Simply being alive is reason enough. Before I get out of bed in the morning, I thank life that I am still here upon the planet. I thank life that I have grown to a place in my living where giving thanks is a priority and a non-negotiable practice. I pray that this hard to articulate perspective is being received. While I embrace the myriad forms and content for which I am grateful I appreciate even more living in a contextual consciousness of appreciation and blessing.
Many refer to an “attitude of gratitude.” I think of as less of an attitude and much more of a practice. It is a choice. It is a lens prescription. I believe that essential Goodness is everywhere present as potential. Gratitude and appreciation call that essential Goodness into expression. It is the result of an invocation. Thank you is my personal “open sesame.” Appreciation opens the way, and augments that which is appreciated. What I am thankful for and from is multiplied. Amplified. Transformed into something even greater.
I have had a great life.
I have not had a pain or struggle free life.
I have experienced many losses. Many.
I have been loved, and I have had love push me away.
I have enjoyed youth and vitality, and I have known sickness and disability.
I have been affirmed and approved of, and I have been denigrated and maligned.
I have had little, and I have known plenty.
I appreciate this great adventure called my life.
I am thankful to be right where I am, though there are a few situations I surely wish were not happening. I do not have to like or prefer in order to appreciate. In order to give a whole-hearted thank you. I approach the situations of my life with a deep knowing that I can choose to learn from everything. That allows me to open to the lessons that make me more of what I am meant to be. I can always choose to lean into what I used to push against. My life has taught me that I do not know enough to not be grateful.
My life has taught me that I do not know enough to not be grateful.
That about sums it up.
Some of the most painful occurrences of my life have resulted in the greatest growth.
Some of the biggest blessings of my life have come out of what I most did not want to experience.
As soon as I could eek out a barely perceptible thank you good began to flourish. Every time.
I cannot say authentically that I have no regrets.
I cannot say honestly that I have no lingering resentments.
I would never claim to have no wounds upon my heart.
And I can say authentically, honestly, whole-heartedly that I live my days in appreciation. In thankfulness. In gratitude.
I needed to grow into that perspective.
And I so appreciate that I did.