Gratitude as a Tool for Awakening

I have spoken, preached actually, against making gratitude an empty, forced ritual. Because sometimes, we need to be able to admit that things are difficult or painful.

But I have begun making gratitude a daily practice and have discovered that it is helping me wake up from the pandemic doldrums. Between anti-maskers/anti-vaxxers and the heaviness of this time, it is so very easy to be judgmental right now. To see all of the things that aren’t happening, or the limitations on what I can safely do.

Of all things, it is “Facebook memories,” where I can see posts from the past, that has helped me move into a space of genuine gratitude. Last year at this time, none of us could get the vaccine. I remember being at the church, outside, for one of our “drive-through” events and absentmindedly pulling my mask down to talk to someone. Oh, my guilt, even with being outside and several feet away! But that’s where we were. It is as if we were moving through life with no skin, so great was the feeling of vulnerability.

If you had told me that one year later, I would be sitting here with 2 vaccines plus a booster under my belt, that we would be meeting in person, albeit outside, for church … well, I would have said I couldn’t ask for anything more!

I do, of course. That’s the nature of life, right? We get, and then want more. More life, more activities. And that’s okay. That’s what drives us to create more programs, and do more living.

But this week, I am enjoying counting my blessings. There are many. Including this wonderful congregation.