March's Gratitude

Each morning when I get up, the first thing I do when I fire up the computer (ok, maybe like the 2nd or 3rd thing once on the computer) is to do my daily gratitude.  It reminds me of Jon Stewart's Daily Moment of Zen--but one that is much more centering and meaningful.  

Each day, it's three acknowledgments.  Some days, I'm moved to do more but at least a minimum of three:
Word cloud of gratitude for March 2016

"I am thankful for..."
"I appreciate..."
"I am grateful for..."

Sometimes, I return to things that I truly cherish: loved ones, basic necessities (shelter, food), and health.  Other times, I reflect on what has occurred in the last 24 hours that seem to resonate with me.  Of course, I also try to capture the small pieces of life to be thankful for and the pieces that are so easy to take for granted.  

In doing this daily ritual, it allows me to think about the myriads of ways that I am privileged.  I know that as much of that privilege stems from being a hard worker and ever-diligent in my pursuit to improve myself but it is also substantially informed by my position in society as a white, perceived-heterosexual male from middle class.  Though I continue to struggle with such privileges, I do believe it is important to acknowledge and give thanks to the luxuries that life has afforded me--knowing well enough that it is a matter of birth and circumstance, and not necessarily skill, that has put me in the position to have so much in my life. 

I also find it necessary to speak to and acknowledge these privileges and luxuries when I am faced with some level (big or small) absence of them in my life.  What I mean is that often when I am sick with a cold, I will be thankful for my health or merely acknowledge that despite being sick, I can receive the care I need.  If I didn't achieve something I wanted to, I am thankful for the opportunity to get to try or the skills and opportunities that allowed me to believe it was a possible pursuit.  Practicing this helps me to see more clearly that there is much to be thankful and grateful for and that it can very easy to take miss opportunities as slights in light of the fact that there are many things that go right.  

The morning gratitude centers me to not feel overwhelmed with the world and the challenges that any day presents.  It tempers the idea that life for me is wildly out of control or somehow stacked against me.  Stepping aside from such potential notions (and our society loves to make it seem like threats lie around every corner for my demographic), I can more warmly and meaningfully think about a world and contribute to constructing a world wherein my luxuries are more possible for everyone--not just people like me.  It is a small and simple action to help me understand my place in the larger world and what way I have and what others don't have.  

If you cannot tell by what I've written thus far, this is just a meditative reflection on what it has meant to sit down each day and acknowledge at least 3 things that I am grateful for.  I believe it is helping me to be more humble and aware of things that I may have overlooked or not as well understood. 

Previous month's gratitude reflections:

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