It's interesting to me how powerful themes continue to arise, even when talking with many different people. This last week has brought about a metaphor I used over and over. Simply put, we all have a bucket, which at any point in time is being filled, poured out, or becoming stagnantly unfulfilling. So many people, including myself, can find ourselves running their life with an empty or near empty bucket. We can become discouraged, exhausted, and often experience depression. In addition to these struggles, our focus becomes the emptiness of the bucket rather than ways we can begin filling our buckets again. This focus on emptiness creates more emptiness and so on.
At the bottom of the bucket is found despair. This is where things can get scary, as we lack hope or we don't acknowledge any kind of real positive substance (even though it really does exist, we don't see it because we don't look for it). 'Empty-Bucketers,' as I might call us, often begin to fill our buckets by using others' buckets. We become bucket suckers. Problem is, most people have a hard time becoming close, or experiencing real closeness in a relationship where someone else is sucking them dry.
Gratitude. It's the mother of positivity. It's the foundation of a fulfilling life. It is the power of change. It is an open acknowledgement that nothing we have is simply ours. It's an expression of healthy dependency on others and in my life...God and Jesus Christ. It is the process of filling the bucket no matter what might be emptying it. It may sound cliche', but we choose what we focus on; the emptiness or what can fill it. We all experience more gratitude during this time of year, how nice would it be if we could practice it continuously.