January 12, 2018
"Appreciation is a combination of honor and gratitude. Everything thrives on appreciation. As often as possible, offer your appreciation. Express it openly. Give it freely, whether to a stranger, a loved one, an animal, or a rose. Appreciation refreshes and uplifts a person who is disheartened or a society that has lost its way. Let small acts of kindness and appreciation kindle light wherever you go."- Ann Mortifee, In Love with the Mystery
We then handed the patients a "Gratitude List" to fill out and share with the large group.
Here are some of their responses.
Today I'm grateful for:
- Learning to be empathetic
- My Jewish Star from my grandfather
- My support network
- The people who loved me when I couldn't love me
- My state of mind
- My future
- Opportunity to live independently with this program
- My dogs
This was a beautiful experience because as each of the patients shared something different, you could literally see them awakening to how much they have to be grateful for.
One of the patients presented, as their "offering" for the day, a meditation on forgiveness. She expressed that we can't really fully feel grateful until we let go and forgive.
"To be grateful means giving thanks for more than just the things we want, but also for the things that surmount our pride and stubbornness. Sometimes the things I've wanted and worked for, if I actually received them, would have crushed me." -Mark Nepo, A Book Of Awakening
Often we find ourselves actually grateful for the things that have caused us pain and suffering, for out of these experiences we grew and awakened and changed.
Our patient group leaders then decided to show a Ted Talk; it was profoundly touching and emotional. The speaker expressed how nothing is impossible to get through. Our Higher Power helps us heal and there is always something for which to be grateful.
This was a powerful day led by a powerful group of patients awakening to the gratitude in their lives. We were all grateful!
Reverend Laurie Durgan