Is There Grace in Your Gratefulness?

As a wannabe vegan, I am confronted with a lot of things I have taken for granted in the past. Almost every decision I am making requires more evaluation and understanding about where I stand on issues: What am I willing to compromise on? How steadfast am I in my convictions? How do I ‘really’ feel about something? I appreciate the opportunities to better understand myself and those around me. But I have to admit I still struggle.

One issue that has been at the forefront of my mind lately is gratitude. Mostly because of Thanksgiving and my desire to shift my opinion about it. I no longer want to be the cranky relative who begrudgingly attends out of guilt. I want to be happy, enjoy myself and appreciate the kindness and love that is experienced when you are with family and friends. So, I have been on a mission to understand what gratitude is for me and how I can be more grateful.

I know that on a spiritual level, I feel very good when I recognize, acknowledge and am sincerely grateful for the beauty, people and experiences in my life. The issue that sometimes hinders me is how to do it. I get caught up in the appropriate way to write a Thank You card or whether or not I should keep a Gratitude Journal or if I should publicly or privately thank someone. I get distracted from the original intention of ‘being’ grateful by ‘doing’ grateful. So I dug a bit deeper to find the root of what this is about in hopes that it would help me overcome this hurdle.

As I was reading blogs, articles and quotes about gratitude, I had a thought. Where did this word ‘grateful’ even come from? What did it originally¬† mean anyway? Maybe we all have it mixed up with some other word that really means being cranky! Now that would be ironic wouldn’t it!? I digress . . . What I found was that grateful comes from the Latin word “gratia” which means “grace” or “thanks” and the English root “ful(l)” meaning “full of” or “with.”

The idea that by being grateful, you are being graceful, really struck a chord in me. When I think of grace I think of serenity, elegance and peace. I don’t think of how I can attain it or how others may have been blessed by it, it just ‘is.’ It is in those moments of full connection to everything around you. In those moments of awareness of how everything is absolutely perfect. Moments of no judgment; just acceptance and recognition. That is why it feels so special – because you know it is truth realized.

Those moments are flowing and freely experienced. They are not contrived or forced. And they certainly are not bound by the definition of what is appropriate or not appropriate in certain social situations. Can this also be true for gratefulness? I think so. I think it might make things a heck of a lot easier for people like me who tend to over-think things, try too hard and in the end do not take action because of the fear they are not doing it correctly.

So I’m going to shift things a bit this week. I am going to connect to the grace of what is and be content with my desire to be grateful. I hope you join me and we can all experience the beauty and perfection of what surrounds us and truly enjoy a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Does this resonate with you? Do you have any thoughts and/or suggestions? I would love to hear from you in the comments section below, on facebook or via twitter.

Image courtesy of Embroidery Library.

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