I have a love hate relationship with people who post gratitude statements on their facebook. I hate that they offer more of a story than what the post outright says but I love that people are focusing on re-framing their outlook.
One of the key concepts in Hellenic theology, really any Hellenic sort of paganism, is the concept of Kharis. It means Grace, but it’s tied quite well to reciprocity. I want to go more into the concept when we hit the K’s, but for now think of it as the exchange of favor and kindness between the Gods and mortals.
Being thankful, being grateful is a key was to keep this favor chain going. It is one of those things that we can offer freely, that takes so little effort and that has a tremendous impact upon the Gods. Why would they ever do anything for you if you can’t even say thank you. (and would it kill you to pour a little wine and honey in your offering bowl?)
My husband is going through a rough patch right now. He’s not happy with our living situation and is constantly grumbling and grumpy about it. We are only in this house for two more months and yet, every day is a countdown, every day feels like it gets worse and worse.
He’s asked me a few times why I am not upset about it. I have to keep telling him it’s because I’m living now in this moment, where I am grateful that I do get to live in a lovely house, despite the problems. Our rent is cheap, our space is large and the problem will be solved in a few months. I can’t control our landlord or the new roommate, so I am going to accept the problems and be thankful for the benefits it has brought.
Another good friend of mine was recently pink slipped from her teaching job at a Christian school, saying she was an under-performing teacher — when her evaluations say otherwise. Each day now, she is choosing to be thankful for the gifts that it has brought her, and whatever good comes her way.
Gratitude is a way of living in the moment, and choosing our outlook.It can be hard, and it isn’t going to work for everyone but it is a way of looking at the world, and I think, a beautifully pagan one.
So take a moment, and focus on something you can be grateful for, and make it an offering to your gods. Be heartfelt and honest. If it’s hard, cultivate it as best you can.