“An Abundance of Gratitude”


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and as we come into celebrating this beautiful day I have an abundance of gratitude.  I also have tremendous gratitude for the abundance in my life.  Which came first? Gratitude…hands down.

It wasn’t very long ago that I was knee deep in worry.  I worried almost non-stop about my son Hank, about finances, and about anything else that my harried little mind could grab hold of.  But I found myself drawn to people who had ideas about how to find peace of mind, even in the midst of storms.  Using gratitude as a tool was at the top of the list, and to this day is a saving grace.  

One of these newly found teachers said to me, “Want what you’ve got and you’ll get what you want.”  So when I found myself worried sick about something that was going on with Hank, I forced myself to think of things that I could be grateful for.   “Okay…we have a car.  No, it’s not a great car but it runs and Hank can ride in it and his wheelchair fits in the trunk.  Good.  What else?  We have hot running water and can take baths.  (But the notices keep coming that they’re going to turn the power off!)  No…we have hot running water right now.” And so on.  And when I was petrified about not having enough money, I forced myself to picture what was in my wallet. Even if the total was fifty-seven cents I said, “Thank you God for this money in my wallet.  Money flows to me and through me freely and easily.”

I believe with everything in me that there is a force for good that hears us say thank you.  I call that force God.  No matter what you call it, I believe that it’s there and it’s strong and it’s real.  As Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” and for me there is nothing sweeter than this loving and benevolent power.  And here’s something that I really love…we can even say thank you for challenges in our lives and be heard.

One morning I was having a hard time getting Hank’s wheelchair into the trunk of the car.  I was  frustrated because I didn’t want him to be late for school.  I said, “Thank you God for this challenge.”  Suddenly a thought came to me from what felt like thin air.  “Thank you that someone invented the wheel!” This one thought completely calmed and focused me.  I was able to finish the job with a degree of grace and peace. 

Gratitude helps me to be open to amazing things, though there are times when I need copious amounts of self discipline to use it. This is especially true when in the midst of  challenging experiences and painful emotions.  All I can say is…if I can do it, anyone can.  Just ask anyone who’s known me for awhile.

I have come a long way since those days of endless worry and mental torment, and there is no doubt in my mind that using gratitude has been a golden key.  This key has unlocked doors and allowed stores of abundance to come into my life.  

I pray to always know that, no matter what, I have enough.  I want what I’ve got…every single peace of it.  And in the days that I don’t believe it I say it anyway.  Lucky me…gratitude always wins.

I’d like to close with this beautiful quote by Melody Beattie, author of books and an inspiration for  many.  “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.”

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  May you have a day full of gratitude…and a lifetime full too.

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