We all belong to the world in concentric circles of relationship — some more distant and others close, some with people different from us and others with people more similar.
Our lives and our relationships are well-served when we can lift our unconscious patterns into the light of day, embrace our shared humanity and vulnerability, and allow gratefulness to lead us into new ways of being and relating. …Recognizing that we are in relationship with our larger human family and our Earth in every moment no matter what we are doing, we are called to consider relationships in their widest possible arc.
Gratefulness supports us to experience deep appreciation for the blessings of our vast web of relatedness. …Typically, when we think of being more grateful in relationships, we focus on trying to remember to express gratitude for the things that people do for us or give to us that we appreciate — the unexpected kindnesses, the perfect gesture of support, the thoughtful gift, the fabulous meal. Getting better at offering this kind of gratitude is surely a worthy aspiration.
Cultivating a deeper recognition of gratitude for the existence of the people in our lives, not so much to them for something tangible they have done or given, is a different type of focus. …The people in our lives are true gifts for both us and the world as a whole, impacting us in ways that we can scarcely fathom.
Not taking people for granted is a foundational commitment in how we live gratefully in relationship…We recognize that people are distinct from who we are, individuated by who they are always in a process of becoming.
May our interconnectedness and inextricability keep us compassionate. May perspective keep us humble. And may our capacity to recognize, appreciate, and acknowledge the true blessings and gifts of all others grow more luminous and generous every day.
[Excerpt of article by Kristi Nelson]