Gratitude is a really important emotion. It helps us to cope with grief and anger and resentment. When we are grateful we are not as vulnerable to jealousy and envy. We might not be happy but we can use gratitude to turn ourselves around from a number of other feelings.
How we get to gratitude can be surprising. We sometimes get there through blessings. Sometimes we get to gratitude by turning our attention away from our resentments and jealousy. Sometimes, however, we get to gratitude through loss and though pain.
The place where I am most able to be grateful for what I have right now is in the face of uncertainty. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness before I turned thirty. At that point my life became completely uncertain. I would gradually learn that for me the disease would have a benign and relatively easy course but when I was diagnosed I did not know if I would be disabled eventually or soon or not for a very very very long time or never more than temporarily. Turns out that I would never suffer apparent disability after diagnosis — at least not so far!
How have you gotten to gratitude? Will you share with us? Below is a link to a blog written by Molly Baskett. She is the senior pastor at First Church Somerville and would have lead the recent workshop if she had not gone on medical leave while being treated for cancer. Follow this link to read her entry before Thanksgiving on gratitude and her children.