Have you noticed the massive cacophony about gratitude these days? It’s tough to figure out what’s real, fake and works, isn’t it? I’d like to share three resources I have found quite helpful.
The other day I found a book given to me in my 30s. The title: Simple Abundance, A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. The author, Sarah Ban Breathnach, made a name for herself in the ’90s and ’00s as the “Mistress of Abundance and Gratitude.” I scanned the book and fell in love with it again. It is now on my pile of re-reading.
I share this because it was my first real exposure to the concepts of gratitude and abundance. And frankly, all these years later, it’s still very relevant. It helps make sense of the complex mess we call the world today, grounds us into what really matters in life and uplifts our thoughts from Me to We. Go here if you’d like to discover it on Amazon.
This past May was a nasty month — five people I know died. The youngest was early 60’s, and the eldest was pushing mid 90’s. It wasn’t that the people died.
It was the ultimate path they had taken in their lives. All had suffered in some way, many in many ways. That was the normal part. The abnormal part was how not everyone ended up dying after a good life.
It reminds me of the poem, The Valuable Time of Maturity, by Mario De Andrade, in which the Brazilian poet ends with
“I want to surround myself with people
who know how to touch the hearts of people ….
People to whom the hard knocks of life
taught them to grow with softness in their souls.
Yes …. I am in a hurry … to live with the intensity
that only maturity can bring.
I intend not to waste any part of the goodies
I have left …
I’m sure I will be more exquisite,
then most of which so far I’ve eaten
My very goal is to arrive at the end satisfied and in peace
with my loved ones and my conscience.
I hope that your goal is the same
because either way, you will get there too .. “
Go here if you’d like to listen to or read the entire poem.
And the third
I’ve never been one to go on about being grateful for what I have. That seems to smack too close to ‘just my ego talking.’ Instead, I prefer to look at others who have it far worse than I do. Because then I can think how grateful I am not to travel on THAT path. They are so much stronger than I could ever be.
Here is what I know.
Those with big dreams and a significant purpose often face life’s biggest challenges and struggles. The universe supplies us with challenges and struggles to become the person we need to be to handle the life we desire. Every battle has a purpose, is an opportunity for growth, and takes place on the training ground for our greatness.
When we are just as grateful for all the ‘bad luck,’ horrible crap and unholy terrors in our lives, we are so ready for all the good stuff. For without the bad, we would be like all the other people bragging about their gratitude for their extraordinary life.
Yet with the lessons of the bad forever branded into our souls, we are calm, content, confident and, most importantly, at peace.
The Art of Gratitude
Lies in accepting there is always a higher purpose to everything that happens to us, being thankful for the bad just as much as the good and recognizing we are all going in the same direction to the same place.
We owe it to ourselves to make it a fabulous ride.