Sunday, June 14, 2015

Gratitude

"Thank you for the world so sweet;
Thank you for the food we eat;
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you God for everything."

That was a prayer we said at lunch when I was in school.

Saying 'Please,' 'Thank you,' 'My pleasure,' 'Sorry,' were taught as 'good manners,' then. That was the ABC of the words. As I grew older I recognized that these are more than good manners. They are what opens the window to knowing oneself. Gratitude, empathy, humility, grace, and more are what the words relay.

Lessons we are taught as children often stay at the 'kindergarten level' with many of us. In reality everything we learn as children need to be re-learned as we grow older so we get age appropriate lessons.

I was taught to pray before exams and so I did. I even believed that all that was really needed was to pray and all would go well at the exams. In my innocent mind studying was secondary. I read, wrote and did math because I liked to. The exams I passed because I prayed. If I did not fare well, it was because I had not prayed hard enough. Very soon though, I came out of that reverie. For many years I prayed knowing fully well that it was just to be a 'good girl,' in the eyes of others. Prayers had little meaning for me. I even went through spiritual initiation to find out 'what it was all about.' I chanted and said prayers, read holy books, all with the intent to know more, never quite able to figure it out till years later.

It is the same with every life lesson I get. There is something much deeper than the superficial 'event' that I go through. Every event is a lesson that teaches me about myself. My spiritual journey - the path that takes me towards my inner being. I do not know what that inner being is. All I know is that I experience 'aha' moments multiple times in a day - if I keep myself open to the experiences. Some days, though, I live life moment to moment by rote and only recognize lessons in retrospect.

Gratitude is a lesson I learn and draw from every day. Being grateful keeps me joyful, satisfied, in abundance, and wanting to share the abundance. I thank people all the time, not because it is good manners, but because I am grateful for the grace that makes my life as beautiful as it is.

A prayer taught in school that simply heralded the lunch break, now means so much more. Thank you, for everything. :)

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