Most of us are familiar with the Thanksgiving day ritual of going around and naming something for which you are grateful. But if you would like to up your gratitude game this Thanksgiving, try this question:
What was a hard, difficult, or painful experience in your life story for which you are now grateful?
I asked this question at a recent Lumunos meeting, and I was touched by people’s responses. It’s complicated of course—no one is happy for a painful experience. And there are some life experiences where we can find nothing redemptive. But most people could find something good, something to be grateful for even in the midst of the difficulty.
This isn’t a light or quick question. I wouldn’t suggest it for that moment when the turkey arrives. If the mashed potatoes get cold, you may well have a riot on your hands. But it is a question worth pondering and perhaps even sharing these stories with others.
May you know tender shelter and healing blessing when you are called to stand in the place of pain.
May the places of darkness within you be surprised by light.
May you be granted the wisdom to avoid false resistance and when suffering knocks on the door of your life, may you be able to glimpse its hidden gift.
May you be able to see the fruits of suffering.
May memory bless and shelter you with the hard-earned light of past turmoil, to remind you that you have survived before,
And though the darkness is now deep,
You will soon see approaching light.
May this give you confidence and trust.
May a window of light always surprise you.
May the grace of transfiguration heal your wounds.
~ John O’Donohue ~