December 5, 2020 Blog: Sharing Gratitude

From the Religica Community: Sharing Gratitude

The holiday season is upon us. Traditionally, this is a time full of family and friends, a time full of joy, gratitude, and love. These aspects of the holidays are not gone. There still is much to be thankful for and ways to experience the season’s cheer, but for many of us, this year will be dampened by a degree of spiritual and emotional loneliness and longing. In recognition of the challenges before us, at Religica we wanted to offer our readers a chance to share something they are grateful for and/or an area where some love and support from our community would be valuable. Below are some of the responses we received. If you didn’t have the chance to send something in, we invite you to share in our discussion forum. 

Sending lots of care and support to all,

The Religica Team

“In my youth, I recognized that dance is my prayer language. I am grateful to indigenous and global peoples who maintain dance as a way of knowing, discerning, making offerings and communing with Divine Life. I am grateful with others to inhabit hidden dancing grounds where dance unites the body and soul of community. I am grateful for the spiritual intelligence and unbelievable beauty that rises when our dancing is free, simple, and true.” – Cynthia Winton-Henry

“I have been blessed in so many ways. I was raised in a faith-filled family and loved immensely. I met and married a kind, and good man who held faith, family first in his life. We were given 3 daughters who were easy to raise and married good men and then we were given 10 Grandchildren. Our jobs gave us joy, friendship, and good memories. When the Father answered my prayer to relieve my husband’s suffering he answered. Although I am alone I am still blessed.” – Paula Noll

“This year our WarmforWinter project continued our mission of gifting hundreds of handmade hats and scarves to local unhoused in our region. Gratitude is being able to continue giving the beautiful community made items to many who deserve so much more.” – Janice Tufte

“It is both a challenge and an opportunity facing these unprecedented times in human relationships and holidays, with our planet and environment, and with the devastating pandemic illness. I feel that giving thanks to God at this time by keeping our spiritual practices alive and well is an opportunity to strengthen ourselves to receive guidance on how we serve each other to help all of life on earth. Many freedoms are being fought for now and our greatest freedom lies within our spiritual essence which Knows how we should serve and guides us to do so. I am deeply grateful for that spiritual strength which keeps me positive through these great changes happening to us as I feel supported and loved which allays the feelings of being alone and isolated. In deepening my relationship with God’s love and strength I can face the challenges of what lies before us and still have joy, peace, and gratitude.” – Hilary Canto

We have gone through some challenging times with my husband’s health and the emotional drain it takes on us-and with covid not helping. Our faith is strong and we are so thankful for all the prayers from everyone. We are so grateful for the support of our church and the kindness of others to help give us the courage and strength to cope — and our children are always there for us to help and to listen, which is so important. So through this holiday season, even though we can’t all be together, we have to hold on to the special traditions and memories and be ever so grateful. And to know what the true meaning of Christmas is. – Teresa Weiss

In these times, I’ve found myself grateful for the magic of the mundane. Little rituals I’ve worked into my day, such as meditation while drinking a cup of coffee I took the time to make in a french press. Lighting a candle every morning while grounding myself. Moving moonstones in and out of a little bowl to track the phases of the moon. Taking “dance breaks” in-between work and forced homeschool assignments with my first grader to rock out to Joan Jett. My pagan faith reminds me that in winter it is dark and quiet and a time of rest. If we do not live in sync with Earth’s cycles and needs, we are doomed to struggle. The modern world has tricked us into thinking seasons of rest and darkness are not required – that they are to be avoided at all cost in the name of progress – but the trees and bears know better. There is a time for everything – and I am grateful for the reminder that we humans don’t get to excuse ourselves from Mother Earth’s cycles.” – Trish Brownlee

“In my traditions of Hinduism and Sikhism, we are told that a Divine Spark illuminates all parts of creation. In a time of physical isolation and unprecedented calamity, we can’t help full feel alone. We need to remember that the light of the Divine is within us, between us near and far, and all around us because we are always in divine space; even in the midst of despair, we are never truly alone. I share so much gratitude for the reminder that I am never alone in my life, in my work, and in my ways of seeking justice for one and all because it is my responsibility to keep this light lit for myself and others.” – Tahil Sharma

“I am grateful for all the people working during the pandemic to provide us with our basic needs and for those who are risking their lives to save ours.” – Jose Rios

“I’m grateful to have friends and colleagues who inspire me every day to work toward a more just, sustainable future and have shown me what it means to truly be an advocate for those who the world has not treated kindly. They have been bright lights of hope in a year that was densely clouded by challenges.” – Anonymous