Today I am practicing sinking into gratitude. I’ve learned over the past year that gratitude is a choice. At any moment I can let my fears and longings take the reins or in the midst of the struggle I can choose to say thank you. It’s funny how gratitude works, even saying thank you when I don’t completely believe it somehow seems to increase how grateful I actually feel in the end. Like any muscle, gratitude gets stronger with use.
Today I want to increase my scope of gratitude. I want to grow it so big that it fills my body, fills my home, that it pulses from me reaching far and wide. I want to live gratitude in the midst of sleepless nights with my baby son, in the midst of sorrow. So I practice. I wake up moaning, then I take a breath, take my son in my arms and hold him tight, we look into the mirror together and I tell him each morning ‘I am so thankful for you’.
But even bigger still, when I am feeling anxious, wanting to escape my reality for a laundry list of reasons, I want to be able say to my tight body, to my longings, to my aching heart, ‘I am thankful for you’. So today as I write this, the first day of my thirtieth year I woke painfully tired to a dirty house, flowers on the kitchen table, my beautiful family, and an aching body. I am feeling the exhaustion from this first year of parenthood, I am practicing opening my heart to the love that surrounds me, and in the midst of all of this I pray, let me big enough to hold it all. Let my heart be expansive in all of its gratitude.
So let’s try practicing gratitude when it’s the last thing we’re thinking. Let’s get big with our gratitude. In the dark moments when we are crying and cursing the world...you know the ones, is it possible to say it? The breath that it takes to say thank you in the midst of the suffering could be just enough space to change everything.