It seems the more we appreciate our blessings and all we have—invisible and visible—the more we want to appreciate everything. Until, ultimately, our gratitude itself seems regenerative. (And the word ‘generate’ has the same root as ‘generous.’ And throw in ‘energy,’ too.) Then, finally, the flow of ongoing gratitude seems simply an energy-saving, upgraded way to live. 

       That’s when seemingly bizarre events and bolts from the blue no longer need to be taken as injustices or roadblocks, but rather interesting gifts we didn’t realize we needed. Sort of like when our parents gave us new shoes or a bike that were just a little too big, saying, “You’ll grow into them.” They wanted us to get the most out of the gift. 

       When we’re dealt a blow by the cosmos that sends us recoiling in stress or despair, could it be that Mother Nature or Father Sky is giving us something a little too big for us, knowing we’ll “grow into” the situation?

       I’ve been thinking of this as 'preventative spirituality,' and the definition would be ‘a safeguarding of one’s wholeness and well-being by way of enhanced acceptance of all that is delivered.’ This complies with I Ching phrases like, “the superior man does not contend,” Buddhist teachings about upholding the middle ground and not being pulled to extremes, Bible parables like Jesus feeding the multitude from a spare amount of loaves and fishes, and the Taoist overview, “One who knows the Tao does not speak of the Tao.” (Oops, I just spoke of it.)

      Preventative spirituality multiplies appreciation beyond an utterance, an observation, or a prayer of thanks. It’s more a walk of thanks where with each step we prepare to accept and understand whatever is up the trail. It’s not anticipation or visualization of “great things in the future,” but a practice-able mindset and heartset of true believing that all of it is a gift. And we don’t have to siphon out the ‘best’ stuff to be thankful for… In the greater scheme, not only do we truly not know what’s ‘good’ and what isn’t, but we can’t possibly know in advance how our own choices, thoughts, and behavior will interact with, influence, and affect what we jokingly call ‘reality.’

       By acknowledging that gratitude encompasses energy, generosity, and regeneration, we step onto the dance floor of life.


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