There is always something to be grateful for. Even when things go horribly wrong, even when your dreams die and your plans crumble, even when loved ones leave and things you never thought you'd lose are lost, you can always contact a place of humility, surrender, and yes, even awe. And no, it's not always easy, and no, this release doesn't always come quickly. But when forgiveness is your path, and love is your reason for being alive, and awakening is burning in your heart, then gratitude is never truly far away.
Gratitude... for connection with a loved one, in this vast field of presence. For the air in your lungs. For each precious breath. For the clothes on your body, however tattered. For the teeth in your mouth, however rotten. For the hair on your head, however sparse. For the water you drink, the food you eat, for the good earth that provides so much. For the kindness of a stranger, the brutal honesty of a friend, the unexpected and unclaimed gifts of every day.
A part of your body begins to fail, and you appreciate how long it has served you without complaint. You sink into the sweet impermanence of things. A loved one leaves, or passes on, and you appreciate all those moments you spent together, never knowing what the future was going to bring. An encounter with an angry customer shows you your inner strength and your capacity for compassion, and reminds you how deeply people are hurting inside and how much they need your kindness, and your clear boundaries. You pay your taxes begrudgingly, unwillingly, then suddenly one day, you appreciate the quality of life you take for granted here, and you burst into song. The skies burst open and torrential rain 'ruins' your day, and out of the blue, there is torrential gratitude for the downpours that allows life to flourish. You are fired from your job, you mourn, you wail, you scream, and then one morning, it clicks: you are free, free to pursue the thing you always wanted to pursue, the courageous thing, the risky thing, the thing that made you feel alive once.
You love and let go. You mourn, and celebrate transience. You find your true home in insecurity. You fall in love not with the destination, but with the ground upon which you take each step.
Find a place of gratitude today. Find yourself appreciating something or someone for no reason, however small, however silly. And know that there is nothing small or silly when beheld through the eyes of God.
When you are magical, friend, everything else is magical too.
~ Jeff Foster