“Here is the world, and you live in it, and are grateful. You try to be grateful.” —-Michael Cunningham
Gratitude. It is one of my favorite ways to express how much I love life. This Thanksgiving I am spending time in my hometown in Texas with my family. Every time I visit Dallas there is always an element of something missing, but now, more and more, this feeling fades into the background.
Coming home feels like slipping my feet in a pair of comfy slippers. So much of it is easy. There are no formalities and everyone understands the inside jokes that are floating around. An interchange of laughter and love becomes the power lines that offers a comfort that does not exist in other places. The familiar sights, like driving past my law school, dining at La Madeline’s (my favorite French cafe in Dallas), and hanging out with my sister carry the scent of a long overdue hug. Once you are in that embrace, something happens that is able to penetrate beyond the surface.
Does that mean that everything is perfect? No. My core belief still stands. As Leonard Cohen aptly expresses, “There is a crack in everything; That’s how the light comes in.” I am beginning to think that light is gratitude. To open our eyes to what is instead of focusing on what isn’t. It is sometimes such a Herculean task to acknowledge the presence of this light. I forget. I complain. My personal compass is masked with an edge of irritation. But then I realize, this practice of gratitude isn’t easy. It is one that requires a constant committment to focus on what is, instead of looking at your life like it is swiss cheese. The holes are always there, but is accompanied by a choice.
To turn toward gratitude. To look at your life and just try to be grateful. That is what I am learning this Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.