Midweek Meditation: Grateful for the love that we experience in this beloved community

We light our chalice this morning, grateful for the love that we experience in this beloved community. May the flame light the way for all who seek such abundance. –Rev. Dawn Skjei Cooley

Dear beloved folks of UUCPA,

When we passed out hands and hearts for giving thanks a few Sundays ago, so many people of you shared your thanks with the many others who make our community at UUCPA all that it is that the bulletin board between rooms 1 and 2 now overflows with them. It adds one more reason I’m thankful to you all: the joy it gives me to read them.

Gratitude is one of those powerful forces that creates an upward, outward spiral. When we’re feeling unappreciated, un-cared-for, unlucky, gratitude is hard to come by. If we can find one thing we are grateful for in the midst of this glumness–a fleeting moment of kindness, an unusually beautiful moon–it usually makes us feel a little better about our lives. And that in turn makes it easier to be thankful, which in turn makes us happier . . . it builds and grows, a “virtuous circle.” Gratitude itself is like a gift that makes us grateful.

When you’re at UUCPA this Sunday and in the future, I hope you will give yourself this gift: have a look at the board. Maybe you’ll see thanks that someone has posted to you, and maybe you’ll think of thanks you want to add. There’s a pocket stapled to the board with hearts, hands, and push pins inside. I’ve also posted a few thoughts about gratitude from Unitarian Universalists, from Henry David Thoreau to 21st century police chaplain Kate Braestrup.

And there are enough hearts and hands for you to take one if there is someone else in your life who needs to know that you’re grateful for them. Take one and pass it on. That’s how we tap into the spring of abundance.