Compassion’s path to Gratitude

This past holiday week, I heard many talking about how we know there is so much to be

grateful for.  Consciously we know it…and can even list our blessings easily.  Yet for many this year, the spirit of gratitude;  the deep welling up of recognition that one is truly blessed, was harder to muster.  Many are facing challenges that they have been facing for awhile. Many are simply tired, stressed, overwhelmed, depleted.

So, as I saw all of the emails about being grateful stream in during the holidays, I thought I would talk about a little piece that we sometimes forget.  We all know we have much to be grateful for, even in our darker days.  The problem is not that we do not know this.

The problem is that the voice that tells us, “you should be grateful” in a shaming tone, is not the one that can inspire gratitude.  We can’t judge or shame ourselves into good feelings.

If the world around you is talking about gratitude and holiday spirit, the joys and blessings of being with family and loved ones….and you are not feeling it…then you are in need of some COMPASSION.

Some loving, curious, compassionate attention to yourself. Ask: What is happening in my life that is causing me to feel depleted, disconnected, and unable to access my soul’s awareness of all the blessings of life? (Ask this with the same care and concern you would give a child who was hurting)

And without even searching for solutions (at first), begin with compassion for yourself. In the same way you might give a child a hug, who was going through a hard time.

You may notice that your heart opens in a way it hasn’t for awhile. You may notice you immediately feel softer about everything.  Keep going to that place of self-love and open to your spiritual connection for help and guidance in the face of these challenges.

Gratitude will naturally follow.

Compassion, compassion, compassion….all good, loving and blessed things begin here…

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