My quest to write 40 letters of gratitude as a Lenten practice was interrupted half-way through by a family emergency. Gratitude can be a powerful tool, bridging our sadness and sorrow to a place where we can rest in God's love. I had to learn how to make gratitude work for me, to get the profound benefits of gratitude while still experiencing my sadness.
My parents were fine living alone ... until they weren't. It takes a village to allow the elderly to age in place without moving to retirement communities, assisted living, or nursing homes. This week's gratitude goes to neighbors who surrounded them with care and concern. How have your neighbors impacted your life for the better? For whom are you grateful?
Work. The people we work with can be a source of aggravation or joy, often in the same day. We usually spend more time at work than we do anywhere else so it makes a big difference to your job satisfaction if you work with good people. How have your work colleagues impacted your life for the better? For whom are you grateful?
A simple decision to sit in a different place opened up my world at a time when I was feeling lost and alone. Our lives intersect in many ways. In the next 7 weeks I'll be sharing stories about people for whom I'm grateful as part of my Lenten practice of sending 40 letters of gratitude. For whom are you grateful?
I was raised being told I shouldn’t “feel sorry for myself,” that other people had it worse so I needed to suck up my emotions, be grateful for what I have, and move on. But gratitude doesn't work as a replacement for hard emotions -- it works alongside hard emotions, easing the sting and letting us focus on the wonder and beauty in our lives.
I am on a journey to write 40 letters of gratitude to coincide with the period of Lent. Come along!
For whom are you grateful?
I am here. I exist. I matter. At our cores, we each have similar wants and needs: to feel safe, to be loved, to be heard and acknowledged. While we can't and shouldn't ignore differences, if you start every conversation and interaction from a place of commonality, the differences will be easier to discuss and resolve.