We are in a beautiful time of year: flowers are blooming, trees have grown leaves, and grass is lush and green. There is an expression, “April showers bring May flowers.” And the flowering season has started early. As I sit writing, I can see out into my back yard, and I see the redbud tree losing its pink blossoms and sprouting leaves, pretty purple flowers that are blooming, and there is a tree with gorgeous white flowers (maybe Dogwood?). It’s a wonderful time for grateful contemplation! There are times in our lives too that merit grateful contemplation.
I spoke recently about a way we protect ourselves from the discomfort of vulnerability. When things are going really well, we might experience fear that something bad is about to happen. We learned that the antidote to this ‘foreboding joy’ is the practice of gratitude. We can shift ourselves away from fear, from negative anticipation and toward gratitude.
When we choose to be grateful, we look around to see what we can be grateful about. We might have not noticed the beauty in our lives. We can see and be grateful for the people we love. Our spouses, children, parents, friends and loved ones could be thought of as flowers In our lives. We can be grateful for our warm and safe homes, our jobs, and all the conveniences that make life easier. But most especially, we can be grateful for the awareness of our true nature, our inner highest Self.
We are told numerous times in scripture, ‘the kingdom of God is within’. This indwelling divinity is our direct connection to a higher realm. We can be at peace, even in the midst of turmoil and conflict. We can be joyful for no outer reason. And we can realize that the love we feel is the truth of our being.
When we practice gratitude for this awareness, we are in full bloom. We become an expression of peace and joy and love in the world. And it is good!