“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” —William Arthur Ward (1921-1994)
“Gratitude, like faith, is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it grows, and the more power you have to use it on your behalf. If you do not practice gratefulness, its benefaction will go unnoticed, and your capacity to draw on its gifts will be diminished. To be grateful is to find blessings in everything. This is the most powerful attitude to adopt, for there are blessings in everything.”—Alan Cohen (1954-)
This year, I give thanks for many things. I give thanks, of course, that I live in comfort while so many do not. I give thanks that I am able to live the life of a mystic and creative. I am thankful that I am on the artist's journey.
But I am also thankful that my heart has been broken - so many times. I am thankful that most of the time, people can't have what I have to give. I am thankful that people misunderstand me, that I am often uncomfortable in groups, that I usually am struggling for acceptance wherever I go.
I am thankful that life is messy. That I'm imperfect. That I don't always have the answers for myself, or for others. I am thankful that I have permission to fail - over and over and over again. I am thankful that I have space to live in the mess of life.
People often mistake Christ's message for unconditional love. If you actually read his teachings, he wasn't preaching love but forgiveness. And within forgiveness is room for love of all sorts.
So this Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for being forgiven - over and over - by people in my life, by my higher power or whatever you refer to it as, but most importantly, for being forgiven by myself.