My Life – Above Ground

The Point of Gratitude
December 31, 2008, 5:22 pm
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So many times each day, I am in a state of extreme gratitude. Oddly enough, most of the time it has nothing to do with circumstances of the day; sometimes I’ll just be sitting there in silence and there’ll be a surge of energy coupled with incredible gratefulness. Although my mind tends to attach that gratitude to something or another that’s immediately relevant in my life, my hunch is that it’s a natural spring that sprouts without a rhyme or a reason.

A while back, I had a thought of writing a note to gratitude every night before I sleep … to honor the deep connections that I cherish.

In our networked, information-heavy world, we are suffocated with lots of superficial connections – MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, or it’s an email from your co-worker’s neighbor whom you met once or an interesting blogger that your sister has been reading for a year or an artist whose photos are up on Flickr. Yes, your addressbook has a thousand email addresses but really, how many of those people would wake up at 1AM to help you out? Really?  C’mon, be honest…

And it’s not just people. Our connection to ideas is also superficial. We will watch ‘Inconvenient Truth’ and talk about sustainability but we’ll still use plastic, not change the light bulbs in our house, and secretly admire SUV’s. We will donate to a homeless shelter or sponsor a well in a developing country, but we will ignore a homeless man on the street and indulge in long showers everyday. We will read spiritual books and quote scriptures, but we can’t get along with those closest to us and we never practice being still.

Such paradoxes are a reality, for all of us, not because we don’t believe in things but because we’re confused about what to believe in. Hedging, weighing in the opportunity cost, cashing in for the quick fix, we sink in the quicksand of information, mis-information, dis-information.

And that’s where gratitude comes in for me. Gratitude creates that stillness that allows truth to arise, clears out the lens through which I look at the world, and gives me that extra umph needed to make my life my message.

And it’s under this auspice that I want to place the exclamation on the great year that was 2008, and welcome in the new one. 

Gratitude.  It is the ultimate cure-all…