Monday, March 29, 2010
Count Your Blessings
So I recently moved into a lovely little house. As a house warming gift, a friend of mine gave me a set of those cool vinyl letters that go on your wall. They say "Count Your Blessings". (It's funny, this friend is also the person who sent me an invitation to Gratitude e-mails. I love them!) Little does my friend know that when I was little, any time I didn't like something or complained about food or anything, my mother or grandmother would say to me - in a screechy voice - "Count your blessings!", and sometimes even go on about the poor starving children in Africa or elsewhere. I liked the practice. I actually did count my blessings. My family and friends, my toys, the fact that I had food. Even if it was not something I wanted to eat, at least I had something. When I opened that box and saw that saying, I just heard my grandmother's admonishing voice, felt her finger shaking, telling me to be grateful. Well, I am. It may have taken a lot of work but I am truly grateful for all I have. As a kid, I thought my mom and grandma were just being mean, telling me I was being a bad kid. If they were looking to shame me, they sure did. Now I finally get it. Gratitude is one of the most precious gifts we can give our children, and ourselves. It gives us some sense of solidity when we feel as though the rug has been pulled from under us. Even though such-and-such is happening and that's hard, scary, expensive, sad, difficult... we can sit back and see that there is still a lot to be thankful for. So I'm reclaiming that saying. No longer will it remind me of being shamed or feeling guilty. I know that counting my blessings may very well be the most important part of my spiritual practice. As I think we could all do with a little gratitude, go forth and count YOUR blessings too!