Rituals of Gratitude
Contributor: Saffron & Sage
Photographer: Sarah Shreves
With an open heart, let's say thank you for the gift of a new day and for the ray of sunshine that peeks through our morning windows, reminding us of the opportunities that await us in the outside world. Never mind if life may have been cruel at this point in our lives—pulling us down with painful surprises of lost jobs, sudden goodbyes and unforeseen challenges—we still give thanks, for without these adversities, we could never measure our strengths.
The darkest days are when we need to be filled with gratitude, for every heartfelt thank-you is a ray of light that could lead us out of the tunnel of pain. Yes, if we must learn a new ritual, let that be the ritual of gratitude.
Each morning as we welcome the sunrise, may we set aside a time to meditate and write in our journals all the things for which we should be thankful. May we fill our gratitude jars with messages of gratefulness because our hearts are often too small to carry all the joys of life's wonderful blessings.
There are many reasons to be thankful if we only unburden our hearts with any of the greed and envy that often plague us when we see others with things we do not have. Let us not, in our prayers, ask for more money, a better lover, a bigger circle of friends or more fame. Instead, in our prayers, let us think of all that we have been blessed and be thankful for a secured financial means, a loving family, a small but loyal circle of friends and a private life devoid of the drama that fame may bring.
Rather than compare ourselves to those whose lives we think we should live, let us find the time to compare ourselves to those with so much less in life. Let us be thankful that we have more and, as a real act of gratitude, promise to give back, whether by giving time, money or love so others can feel the power of gratitude.
We hold in our hands the ability to make others feel thankful through our selfless acts, we simply need to commit to give back. Let us learn to be grateful, not only in words, but more importantly, through our actions.
And then, at night, when the sky is filled with stars and as we pause in silence to reflect the gifts of the day, let us make the powerful phrase "thank you" the last words we say. The late inspirational author Maya Angelou said it best: “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
Be silent. Search your heart. What have you been thankful for today?