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The Gift of Receiving Grace

By Andrea Kartika Deierlein

Tis the season for stress levels to rise. When gathering with family and friends, buttons may get pushed, triggers may get triggered, feelings may be on edge, while there is never enough time for what you really want to do.

It's no surprise that people often tend to focus on what is going wrong in their lives, rather than notice what is going well. It is so easy to get sucked into analyzing what we need to fix or change. Sometimes we may even become obsessed with these thoughts. We are turning our questions and ideas over and over in our heads – until it feels like all our thoughts have turned into one tangled up ball of mush. We worry a great deal of what could go wrong, must be done, can’t wait, while moving further away from noticing, nurturing and enjoying all the things that are already working smoothly and effortlessly.
 
But a simple act of gratitude provides us with the opportunity to bring attention and appreciation to what is. Being thankful can become a tool for bringing us back into the present moment. It’s an invitation not to follow the mind’s crazy ride into the past and into the future, at 3,000 miles an hour.

When we develop our sense and skill of appreciation in everyday life, we are invited to let go of our ideals of perfection, of all the if-onlys; if only I were, if only I had, if only I could. Don’t if-only or what-if your life away. Instead, right now, this very moment, allow yourself to recognize the positive and the beautiful. You will see there are plenty of things to notice.
 
Terima kasih is thank you in Indonesian. It also means to receive grace. Every time we give thanks, we also receive grace.
 
Life is precious. Your life deserves your attention. Start by paying attention to what is well in your life, what and who makes you feel good. Then take a moment to give thanks. And open yourself to the gift of receiving grace.

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