What a year! A worldwide pandemic. Fires and hurricanes raging in record numbers. A painfully polarized nation. Suffering and loss abound! All around us, there is so much grief, fear, outrage, mistrust and despair. So much turmoil. So much heartbreak.
What do we do with our hearts on a day dedicated to gratitude? For many of us, the losses are so overpowering and discouraging that it may be hard to muster much in the way of giving thanks.
And yet, opening our hearts in gratitude is just what this day asks of us. It is harder this year. So we need to dig deeper and look closer. We need to open our hearts even wider to see the bountiful – the love and heroism around us, the gifts of family, friends and all our relations, the gifts of shelter, health care and nourishment for body mind and spirit, the gifts of critters, trees, flowers and the awesome beauty of Mother Earth. When we look more deeply, we see that, along with our grief, we are graced.
We don’t need to rid ourselves of grief in order to be grateful. Gratitude can accompany grief. Our hearts are big enough for both.
This challenging year invites us to soften and stretch our hearts, to release this center of love from its protections and confinement, to make room for all that we feel and experience, to make room for each other and see how deeply we are connected to everyone and everything.
In spaciousness of heart, gratitude flourishes!
Happy making room. Happy thanks-giving!
P.S. I apologize for my unannounced sabbatical. Your gentle encouragement of this writing has partnered with an inner prompting - nudging me back to the keyboard. I’m grateful.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!