Thoughts on gratefulness
Feeling grateful is like other feelings in many ways, but different in that it is one of those feelings, like happiness, that we can choose. With that in mind, I wondered what my friends were feeling grateful for this holiday season. I was surprised to find what creates this uplifting feeling in the hearts of many.
My friend Terri shared that she is grateful her son is growing and thriving in his first semester at college. My friend Ted said he is grateful for an economic resurgence, fueled by a new confidence in NE Ohio. Working in the medical profession, he added his gratefulness that there has been no "major" disease outbreak here in the U.S. My pal Bruce is happy and grateful to be a dad, and that his children and grandchildren, far and near, can celebrate the holidays in the same location.
And my friend James told me, "To me being grateful comes easily. I have been on God's green earth for 62 years, and still am able to move around and do things others cannot. My friends and family come next ... sooo grateful to be able to enjoy them. I'm grateful to my guardian angels, and to my ancestors who made this great land. I believe that the native American spirit lives within me and I'm so grateful for that."
As a community, Unity Spiritual Center of Westlake designated Nov. 23 as Great-fullness Sunday. Rev. Joanne Rowden and several teams came together to express gratitude for the bounty we enjoy. Two local charities, Maggie's Place and Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries, will benefit from donations of everything from blankets for homeless men to healthy snacks for future moms. Collections run through Dec. 14 at Unity, 23855 Detroit Road, Westlake.
"Every moment of every day we live and breathe and move and have our being in the great fullness of all life," Said Rev. Joanne. "When we open our eyes with wonder, willing to be surprised, life fills us with joy. From that fullness, we overflow with thanksgiving, giving back to life in our own unique way."
As for me, I'm grateful for the gift of the Apache tear stone from a friend. Besides being a meditation stone, a legend goes with it. It is a legend of bravery, devotion and grief, and says the Apache women upon losing their loved ones cried tears that turned into stone. They cried for us too, so we don't have to cry anymore, but can live in gratitude. I recently passed a sign in front of a church that read: "Only turkeys don't give thanks."
I am Secretary on the Board of Trustees of Unity Spiritual Center. I enjoy writing about USC's events, and all are always welcome at our two Sunday services.