Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Living with Gratitude

On the eve of another Thanksgiving, as I reflect on all the blessings of my life, past and present, I'm filled with the joy of living with gratitude.

Living with gratitude means happiness with what is, not what you wish life would be.

Living with gratitude means being thankful for the series of miracles greeting you every day: the dawn of a new day, the blessing of autonomy, the chance to spend yet another day doing whatever you can to improve your life and those of others.

Living with gratitude means noticing -- another's triumph, an unexpected kindness you accept as a blessing, not as your due, the bright blue of a morning sky, the soft yearning in your pet's eyes as he sits at your feet wanting attention, the sweet smell of a just bathed baby or the music of a young child's laughter.

Living with gratitude means being thankful for those who have brought happiness and growth and joy to your life. It also means giving thanks for those who brought challenges and obstacles and forced you to grow in resilience and determination.

Living with gratitude means savoring the moment -- a summer morning, an evening walk in the fall, a cold winter night by the fire, the first blossoms of spring, a smile from a stranger, a lingering look of love from someone dear.

Living with gratitude means loving what you have now-- your relationships, your home, your life -- instead of focusing solely on what you want for the future.

Living with gratitude means appreciating all the people, the times and all the experiences that have shaped and colored your life in all its uniqueness.

This Thanksgiving, my fondest wish for you is that you will spend the day -- and all the days that follow -- filled with the joy of loving gratitude!

13 comments:

  1. A big AMEN! And the same warm wishes back to you and yours~

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  2. I'll echo the Amen, Kathy. After 2 brushes with cancer, I'm grateful for every minute of life.

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  3. I know Thanksgiving is/should be all about gratitude, hence this very worthy post at this time, I assume.

    Hoever, I cannot imagine a life, my life, lived in perpetual gratitude. The sheer exhaustive effort of it, the unrealistic expectations and thankfulness for daily disappointments would drive me insane.

    I will happily agree to live my life fully aware and appreciative of good things, small miracles, pleasures and joys. But, dear Kathy, forgive me when I say that I also need to allow the reality of unpleasantnesses, unkindness and meanness, which I witness not only in others but, sadly, also in myself occasionally, to penetrate into my consciousness.

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  4. What a perfect message, and one I needed to hear today. Thank you. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

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  5. Dear Kathy,
    Today began at 3:51 when a Meniere's headache woke me. The migraine was in full force. But, fortunately, the medication I now have for it made the pain dissipate in a few short hours.

    So right now I'm grateful for that medication! I'm also grateful for the warmth of today's weather and for a friend who listened to my woes. These three gifts are enough for today or any day.

    And they help me put in perspective the malaise I always feel when the headache has departed but left me limp. Now I just need to keep reminding myself of these gifts.

    Your blog has been a gift to me this year, Kathy. Thank you.

    Peace.

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  6. This is a very beautiful post. One of the best for Thanksgiving Day. I can feel that it was written from the heart.

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  7. Wonderful thoughts and you are so right about challenges. They help us in so many ways.
    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.
    Arkansas Patti

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  8. Amen! Without gratitude our lives would feel empty. Have a restful weekend and thanks for the visit.

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  9. I really appreciate this post. I started looking for things to be grateful for about 18 months ago, as a way to realize how lucky I am in spite of various demands of home, work, and family health issues. It has made me MORE grateful the more I do it. I love the line in your post about accepting things as blessings, not as your due. Such truth; such wisdom. Thank you. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving!

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  10. So many things for which to be grateful -- especially visiting you! I hope your day was happy indeed. A lovely blessing for us all.

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  11. A perfect message for Thanksgiving and especially one I need myself.
    Do you think it would be ok if I copied this and sent it to Christi.
    Many Blessings to you and your family this holiday season
    Love
    Maggie

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