A Grateful World Is a Happy World

David Steindl-Rast It is not happiness that makes us grateful, it is gratefulness that makes us happyCreative Commons License BK via Compfight

As Thanksgiving approaches, I have to admit I’m struggling with gratitude. My emotions are mixed and my heart is conflicted with unrest from the recent Paris and Mali shootings and the rants of hate.

It’s hard to put everything into perspective and settle down to celebrate with a quiet dinner and give thanks with so much going on in the world. I will, not because of tradition, but because it’s what is so desperately needed and there is so much for which I’ve been blessed. 

It’s not difficult to look around and feel love for my family, our home, my life. I give thanks for all of these things and more every day. But, I also feel something else . . . unsettledness, despair. It’s the energies circling the globe screaming for my attention, unlike the subtle, noninterference energies of peace, love and gratitude. I feel like it’s out of control and there’s very little I can do.

It pulls me off what’s happening in my world and distracts me from the delicate nuances of life right under my nose. It’s so automatic to be pulled that I don’t even realize it. When I do, I have to refocus on who I am and what’s going on in the moment that brings me ‘back to earth’.

It’s what I can do and I’m reminded of the powers of the human spirit, as demonstrated by those in the videos below. When we focus on love and the good around us and put that energy out in the world, the rants seem to dissolve and be replaced by happiness and opportunity.

A Grateful World is a Happy World

It’s hard not to listen to the raging cries of the earth. But, if that’s all I do, I feed it. I want to have compassion and help. I can, this Thanksgiving, by putting out energies of gratitude and compassion and feed them by choosing to notice all of life, no matter what form, as it unfolds around me.

Collectively, if we consciously focus, with intention, on being thankful for the gift of life that surrounds us, it will matter. How can you not after viewing this video.

­­Two lights left us this year on August 30th. One was Dr. Wayne Dyer, the “Father of Motivation”,

and the other was Dr. Oliver Sacks, a British neurologist, naturalist also known as the author of and popular film, “Awakenings”.

Maria Popova at “Brain Pickings” talks about the life of Oliver Sacks and his views on gratitude at the end of his life.

“I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” ~ Oliver Sacks

Yes, indeed, there is great turmoil in the world today but let us not forget ­the incredible power of the human spirit and what it can do. It’s within all of us.

God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving everyone. May you feel all the love and blessings freely given every moment just by noticing.

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Pat Ruppel
Acknowledgements: BK Photo via Comcast at https://www.f more...

20 thoughts on “A Grateful World Is a Happy World

  1. Pat, I feel the same feelings you do and its painful. I feel the time I coming closer when the life we’ve known will no longer exist and will be replaced by something not as comforting, whether that is because of hateful actions or environmental crises. What I do know is this is the time to hold dearly to what I still have and share the best and the world has to offer with those around me. These years and the memories we leave with our families may be what they will need to rebuild and make their futures brighter.

    May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy the good around you and put your concerns and uneasiness aside for just one day. Much love, Lois

    • I understand how you feel, Lois. There’s a lot of fear and unknowns in the world today. It’s easy to get caught up in it and panicky. I guess it goes in cycles as I can remember down through history when times were disastrous. I guess how I have to look at it is that we have come a long way but there’s so much yet to become and change. Hopefully, you and I can be a part of that.

      God bless you, my friend, and may you have a blessed Thanksgiving. 🙂

  2. Happy Thanksgiving Pat to you and yours ~ A time to reflect and be thankful in a world where the daily news is bleak. There’s a line in ‘The Curious incident of the Dog in the Night’ about the rain of today being water the other side of the world yesterday – all interconnected to your flowing stream and rolling sea. Maybe gratitude is like the earth’s water. As Thanksgiving reaches different parts of the world at different times, flowing across the world, maybe our thanks will be like prayers. You are right – we do have so many gifts in the world around us to be thankful for my friend x

    • Thank you, Diana, and may you and yours also enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving. It is, indeed, a time to reflect and be grateful. Seems as if I’ve been especially mindful of that this year. I love the analogy of rain today bringing water on the other side of the world. It’s much like the rain watering the flowers of our dreams. The waves of connection are truly there as it flows across this world. Many, many gifts we’re given in this life. It warms my heart when I notice them and feel the connection like I do with you, my friend. God bless and I’m thankful for you. 🙂

  3. God bless you dear Pat, I hope you and your family had a wonderful, blessed, Happy Thanksgiving. It is so hard with so much unrest in the world to find that peace, and now with the awful shootings in California – again. When does it all stop? Never, so long as man holds evil in his heart, I fear. Yet, we have so much to fill our hearts with gratitude and it starts with each one of us and our own hearts doesn’t it? You have a beautiful, tender heart my dear friend, these world events can so easily pull us down. Thank you so much for being the shining light that you are here and to those around you in your beautiful Colorado home. Sending love and peace and hugs… <3

    • Aw, thank you, Sherri. Your words are so kind and come at a time when we need to encourage one another. It’s becoming more desperate in the world these days and I see people with broken hearts trying to make sense of it all. I also feel a shift emerging in the midst of it where we’re either leaning more to faith and a higher power or turning away to anger and hate. I pray love will win out. Sending hugs and blessings to you across the pond, my friend.

      • I feel it too Pat, very much. The bible says that the love of men will turn cold and that is certainly happening…but it also gives us a greater, higher hope in Christ and so we hold onto our faith and pray and trust. Let’s pray together for peace adn blessings in abundance. Dark times indeed. Bless you my dear friend…sending love and hugs across the shining sea to you from me 🙂

        • So true, Sherri, I agree. We need now, more than ever, to pray and help one another looking for ways to share peace and send out love. God bless. 🙂

  4. Hi Pat, I read this and watched the videos many days ago, but after the shootings in San Bernardino I watched them again. Thanks for the wonderful videos that if even for a few moments give us something else to dwell upon other than violence and hatred and terrorism.

    • Thank you, Susan, and I’m so sorry it’s happened in your home state. There’s such a contrast between what’s going on in the world and the subtle beauty and acts of kindness around us every day. I find my emotions taking a roller coaster ride — soaring high one moment and sinking low the next. Seems like I’m watching a movie and the world isn’t real right now. I suppose this is what it’s like living in a war-torn country with bombs dropping at any time. God help us. I pray it never comes to that here and shouldn’t anywhere else.

      It means the world to me that these videos helped give you something else to feed your soul. I’m grateful for you, Susan, that you came back and shared your thoughts with me. You made the writing of this post more worth it. God bless you, my friend – hang in there.

  5. Here in Canada we are surrounded by happiness as Syrian refugee families arrive daily. The headlines are full of happy stories and happy pictures of smiling refugee families who express how grateful they are to come to a peaceful and openly accepting country like Canada. Their happiness is infectious and you can just feel the love. Yes it is costing Canada a lot in terms of dollars to support the refugee settlement program however what they give to us in return cannot be measured in terms of dollars. We all benefit from opening our hearts and our homes to others, especially those who come from war-torn countries. My wishes to you for peace and love during your Thanksgiving celebration come late, however they come from the heart.

    • Bev — I’m so happy to hear that and it’s so good to hear the positive for a change on all of this. I can’t imagine what that must be like to leave your home, your country and try to start over in a foreign place. It’s devastating and you must be proud that your country is choosing love and embracing them.

      We’re trying, here in the U.S., but it’s meeting opposition with so much fear. I can only pray that countries like yours that step up will be a pathfinder for all of us. Our world desperately needs more of your light to shine out and show us the way! God bless you — Love and hugs. xxoo

    • Hi Bethany — it’s good to see you over here again. Been reading about your new journey and it sounds like you’ve found your direction. I’m happy for you.

      I can see what you say about love and everything else being an illusion. Sounds so easy except when we find ourselves plopped down right in the middle of an illusional reality and we have choices and decisions to make. That’s the beauty of life, though, just having the pure opportunity to respond and experience it all.

      Love and hugs and wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year. God bless you. <3

  6. We recently elected a new government (Liberal) under a new, young leader who is the son of a former Prime Minister of Canada. In fact our new PM, Justin Trudeau gets along very well with your President Obama (whom I admire and respect greatly). In fact, Pres. Obama is planning a state dinner for our new Prime Minister…the first in many years for a Canadian PM.

    • That sounds good, Bev. I’m happy to hear your new PM gets along well with our President. So refreshing to hear of our 2 neighboring countries on the same page and having similar philosophies. We’ll get there, I pray, on these issues like your PM has. Obama has tried and what he has accomplished has not been in vain. It’s good to get things out in the open so truths and values can be revealed. Now, as a people we just have to figure out how to work through all of the differences in love.

      Like you, I have greatly respected our President and it’s hard to see him come under so much fire. It will always work so much better if we work together rather than pull apart and divide. I think it’s just something the US has to go through, maybe like it’s never gone through before.

      The old hate and divisions that have continued over the centuries were never resolved. Just went in hiding. It’s now time to truly heal and put away the hurts and anger and love one another. We need to figure this out not only for our survival but for the world.

      God love you, my friend. Don’t normally get on the topic of politics as I generally look at things more spiritually and philosophically. It’s been good to share with you what’s on my heart. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  7. Sorry Pat. I just got to this one today. I have been busy with Thanksgiving and now Christmas is almost upon us. I have had some time to think about this and you are not alone in your thoughts. It brings me to something that my dad once said to me.
    “Be grateful for what you have, love with a true heart because there is no guarantee that you or any of us will be here 5 minutes from now.” I thought it was ridiculous when he said it,( was about 14) but for some reason I never forgot it, and over the years have come to realize how right he was.
    Enjoy the moment, your loved ones, and do as much good as you can to who ever you can as much as you can.
    Keep the love burning in you heart and soul and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy New Year. xo

    • No problem, Patricia, it’s been busy here, too, especially with the holidays. Thank you for stopping by and I’m happy you enjoyed my post. It’s so true in what your dad said with there being no guarantees. We don’t realize it a lot of times, though, and you don’t have to be 14. We spend so much of our time either living in the past or worrying about the future, when all we really have is right now.

      I love your sentiments, my friend, and will do my best in doing for others and keep the love burning. God bless you and yours this Christmas and may you have a blessed New Year!

  8. Pat, I appreciate your comments which always come from your heart. Got a chuckle from “don’t normally get on the topic of politics”…neither do I as this is often a sensitive topic, however I felt like we were on the same page. Blessings to you, and may your heart and the heart of America be filled with peace and love..

    • Thank you, Bev, you always get me and you’re right with sharing our hearts and being on the same page. I like that we can talk about anything whether sensitive or not and, boy, there’s some real serious stuff going on out there. It means a lot to me to have someone I feel understands and speaks the same language.

      Prayers for peace this holiday season and may you and your family have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year! God bless you, my friend.

I would love to hear from you. . .thank you for stopping by.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.