Is gratitude your “go-to” state of mind? Maybe you keep a ‘gratitude journal.’ Maybe it’s an ‘every-so-often’ list. Maybe it’s that constant grateful feeling that God is in control. Here in Indiana, the University of Notre Dame is involved in studies that are ‘expanding the science and practice of gratitude.’ My colleague, Tony Lobl, writing for the December 29, 2014 edition of The Third Metric, inspires us to seek that grateful heart that enlightens the holiday season with the warmth of love. Here’s Tony:
You gather family and friends of all ages in a large room and ask each person to hold a single, unlit candle.
Then you turn out the lights.
In the darkness, you ask someone to tell you about something they’re grateful for – whether it’s another person, an event or anything else. After sharing their story they light their candle. The next person does the same, and so on, right around the room, story by story.
After each expression of appreciation, the room grows a little brighter. By the time the last person has spoken, it’s ablaze with light!
This idea is not new. One Christmas, a friend of mine heard a young woman reminiscing on a late night radio show about her family and friends doing just this.
“As I listened, I could almost see how beautiful their faces were, lit up with the joy of gratitude … and with the glow of candlelight. Thinking about it still gives me goose bumps”, she said.
Sadly, of course, that’s not the way it is for everyone during the holiday season. But have you ever thought, we can still be grateful even if we feel our heart is breaking?