by Rev. Crystal Muldrow
On Sunday, September 17th, I looked at my Facebook Newsfeed and saw a “Memory,” a historical account of pictures, comments and shares that I had posted from previous years on that day. It was a picture I’d taken during a flight of the sun rising. At first, I was perplexed as I hadn’t taken a vacation, or at least, a vacation that required flying. Quickly, it came to me that I was on the flight that brought me to Albany for my try-out a year ago that day.
As I stood in the sanctuary, looking out at everyone, I felt an even deeper sense of gratitude. This community is one of the sweetest, most loving, healthiest and vibrant Unity communities that I have experienced. Truly, I am blessed and grateful. I thank you all for inviting and calling me forth into this community.
Fall is my favorite season because it is a time of celebrations. With the assistance of Thanksgiving, our society consciously focuses on ways to be grateful for the people, opportunities and things that are in our lives.
“Gratitude also opens your eyes to the limitless potential of the universe,
while dissatisfaction closes your eyes to it.”
This quote from Stephen Richards rings true as each year, Thanksgiving seems to lose it’s charm more than the last. This holiday is being contaminated with dissatisfaction, fears and anxieties of what we want, what we don’t have, what we are against and/or what is against us. This election year, more than any other that I can remember, seems to have heightened these feelings of despair in the United States.
This became clearer to me when I saw columnist/author Maureen Dowd’s interview with Charlie Rose about the upcoming election and the candidates. In a section of an expanded statement, she replied, “…that’s why voters are fearful and anxious and depressed, because they have to vote against someone, not for someone…”.” The further away our society moves from being for something, the further away we move from being grateful for what we have, and being encouraged about life and humanity. Our attitudes turn increasingly away from being “hopeful” to “hopeless”.
Let us stop feeding this monster; the fear and anxiety, that is being manufactured for us. The reality is, your life, all of our lives; no matter how grand or not good this current moment is, have the potential to be greater than we can currently imagine. The practice of gratitude is a tool to move us all in the direction of living a life of greatness. In her book The Secret, Rhonda Byrne writes, “Gratitude is a powerful process for shifting your energy and bringing more of what you want into your life. Be grateful for what you already have and you will attract more good things.” Gratitude is more than a feeling, or an experience; gratitude is an attitude we can choose in order to create a better life for ourselves and for others. The Nigerian Hausa people put it this way: “Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.”
is the beginning of gratitude.
Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness.
Thankfulness may consist merely of words.
Gratitude is shown in acts.”
–Henri Frederic Amiel
As we move forward to celebrate Thanksgiving and far beyond, let us choose to band together to turn away from race consciousness of fear and lack, toward the heightened spiritual consciousness of love and gratitude. Let us choose to make everyday a special day that we are grateful for, instead of waiting for Thanksgiving. or any holiday to make special and be grateful for. Let us choose to be “for” something than against something. Let us choose to be grateful, so our eyes will be opened to the limitless potential of the universe. Let us celebrate all the good that is in the world.
“This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” –Psalm 118:24