When I was little, I’d say my prayers before bed. “Now I lay me down to sleep….” I’d ask God to bless and watch over my mom, dad, gradmas and grandpas, aunt and uncle, brother, dog, cat, friends, anyone I didn’t know and everyone I forgot to mention.
I believed that I had to squeeze it all in during that prayer or someone might be left unprotected. As a child, I had no parameters for what I asked of God. As I got older, ‘the list’ became more condensed as if there were only so much room to ask God for a favor.
I used to think about Gratitude kinda the same way, like I had to find only the most prolific or beautiful things to be grateful for. As if there were somehow a limit on gratitude or that unpleasant experiences weren’t worth considering.
But, I’ve come to realize that just like our hearts have an infinite capacity for love, there’s no limit to how much you can express gratitude for, and nothing is too trivial.
You can be grateful for the big ones, the obvious ones like, “I’m grateful for my health, and the health of my family, and my job, and my home, etc.” and those are great. But it’s also OK to express gratitude for the little things or oft forgotten things like toilet paper, clean water, green lights, toast, toothpaste, not stubbing your toe on the table again…
And, it’s particularly liberating to be grateful for the not-so-awesome things that happen in our lives like people who drive us crazy, traffic or pain.
When you begin to find ways to be grateful for everything, you can begin to let go of assigning value judgements like good or bad and take the ‘me’ out of what happens. It just happens.
How many things can you be grateful for today?
– Your Charmed Yogi
(Photo: Fancy Hunt / Flickr)