“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” —Cicero, Roman philosopher and statesman
I think I agree with Cicero. Except I’d expand the concept to two parents: Gratitude’s partner is Generosity. To me, after many years of testing with myself as the lab rat, I have found that Gratitude and Generosity together powerfully counteract the twin pillars of my previously miserable life: Deprivation and Entitlement.
It might not be easy to understand this until you try, but the state of active gratitude, looking for and expressing the things for which you grateful, makes it way harder to walk around feeling deprived. These two mindsets can’t co-exist. You can be living into one or the other, not both. Same with generosity. When you are looking for a way to do something for someone else, you are not skulking around looking for whatever you can get, especially that which does not belong to you, that to which you think you are entitled and which should have been given to you already if the owner only knew… ugh I remember being that person all day every day for years and it does not feel good to remember that visceral yuckiness. I heard this once at an AA meeting early in my sobriety and it described me so clearly: “My drug of choice was more and preferably yours.”
So. Hello to my gratitude group, and to all y’all on this bright sunny Saturday morning.
I get to share some gratitude with you now, and there’s nothing I’d rather do.
I am grateful for sourcing matzo and eggs (thank you chickens) and milk and cinnamon and vanilla and making the first of three gorgeous matzo breis last night for Zo’s party. One tonight for ritual and another tomorrow to share with my sister. In case you have not had the pleasure, think French Toast made with matzo instead of bread, topped with a little cinnamon sugar. Salivating?
I am grateful for a most excellent night’s sleep, and for waking up to sunny silence, which is unusual around here. It’s either the chickens or loud rap music or gunshots—I live in a beautiful gated enclave in the ‘hood—or babies, or loud arguing that I hear when I awaken.
I am grateful for the state of my health. I am on my second day of more ease in my belly (this after five months of daily diarrhea, which I’m sure you can imagine is pretty exhausting).
I am grateful for my beautiful family of choice: doing our Mother of the New Time ritual under the Full Libra Moon last night en masse at Zo’s birthday party. Smiles, kisses and hugs with my sisters and brothers of my coven.
I am grateful also for my deepening friendship with Heidi and Jeff. Another sister and brother. I drove home last night after visiting with all of these folks smiling, and with a happy heart.
I am grateful for a really good book (pictured left) I finished yesterday, and for giving myself a couple of hours off in the afternoon so I could luxuriate in the reading. If you like baseball at all and good writing at all, give it a try. It works on many levels.
I am grateful for my gratitude challenge group. For those of you in the group who are finding it hard to continue your gratitudes, I’ve been there. The only payoff is to pay attention to your internal state. For me, I just get crankier and more like the she I used to be instead of the she I’d like to be, so I am happy to pay the price of these few minutes on a regular basis.
From the inbox:
Theresa, who is new to the group (Welcome!) writes that she is grateful for a healthy family and a brain and body that work together and function so well
Amanda is grateful to be running on a beautiful morning with a sleeping baby in the stroller
Mary Jane (Welcome to you too!) is grateful for having a paycheck and for my generosity in implementing this project (thank you for the acknowledgment!)
Barbara, who has an awesome sense of humor, is grateful that “I was able to get a Turbotax telephone number and there were only 65 people ahead of me 8 minutes ago, and now there are only 44…”
Have a beautiful week, full of easy noticings of the things that make you grateful in your heart.
Love and light!