The holidays are beginning to creep into our lives with television ads and decorations. Thanksgiving Day is next week, so I thought you might like to begin the Holiday Season with some sage advice from one of my favorite authors, Joyce Rupp, OSM. Pick one gratitude and practice it for a while and see if your holidays are more peaceful, calmer and less stressed.
Gratitude by Joyce Rupp, OSM
- To be grateful for what is, instead of underscoring what is not.
- To find good amid the unwanted aspects of life, without denying the presence of the unwanted.
- To focus on beauty in the little things of life, as well as being deliberate about the great beauties of art, literature, music, and nature.
- To be present to one’s own small space of life, while stretching to the wide world beyond it.
- To find something to laugh about in every day, even when there seems nothing to laugh about.
- To search for and to see the good in others, rather than remembering their faults and weaknesses.
- To be thankful for each loving deed done by another, no matter how insignificant it might appear.
- To taste life to the fullest, and not take any part of it for granted.
- To seek to forgive others for their wrongdoings, even immense ones, and to put the past behind.
- To find ways to reach out and help the disenfranchised, while also preserving their dignity and self-worth.
- To be as loving and caring as possible, in a culture that consistently challenges these virtues.
- To remember to say or send “thank you” for whatever comes as a gift from another.
- To be at peace with what cannot be changed.
A prayer for the holidays: Dear God, reveal to me in the smallest, shortest, quickest way, how much I am loved and how much I matter to the world. Show me the path of gratitude, especially as the holidays get busy and I cannot see you amidst the activity. Help me to slow down, to be present to the moment and remember those who need my help and prayer. Amen