Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. It can turn an existence into a real life, and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Yesterday, as I sat around a table piled high with food and surrounded by family, it was clear to me that I have more than enough. But there are those in our neighborhoods, in our cities, in our country, and around the world who do not have as much of a bounty of food or of family. Nor is this bounty guaranteed beyond any moment but this. People around the world find their bounty shattered by war, hurricane, earthquake, or illness.
I am grateful for each day that I have food to eat and family to share it with.
In addition to more than enough food, I have more than enough of problems, failures, mistakes, and unexpected events. Gratitude helps me make sense of it. As bad as things may be, at least these problems, failures, and mistakes have given me something that I can use. Maybe it has made me a better listener, a more gentle cheerleader, a more empathetic friend, a more insightful observer of human behavior.
I am grateful for each experience I can use in service to others. Giving helps me feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose and living a good life.
Gratitude is one of the 7 Generosity Habits, because generosity inspires within you a feeling of enough, and if you have enough, then you have enough to share. It is in giving it that we feel peace for today and create a vision for tomorrow. It is one of my deepest held beliefs that everyone is already enough, already has enough, and because that is true, it means that everyone has something to give. And that is true for you, too. You have something to give.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be- brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
It’s not just that you have something to give. You have something worth giving. What is your light? Or lights? Because there are so many ways for you to share and shine. Perhaps it is in your work or your career. Perhaps it’s your time, attention, or support. Perhaps it’s your life lessons, your curiosity, or your enthusiasm. Perhaps it’s your voice or your art. Perhaps it’s your kindness or your volunteer work. There is something that the world needs more of, and you can give it.
I am grateful for each opportunity you take to give it.