Have you ever noticed how many Jewish prayers begin with gratitude? “Blessed are you…” is praise for all the good and loving and true there is in our lives. In a wedding ceremony, the prayer, the Sheheheyanu is most always recited. What a powerful way to begin the sharing of your commitments together with this ancient tradition.
When reciting prayers in a wedding, I will usually paraphrase the original to a more intimate expression, such as, “We give thanks to the Source of all Life, that which has given us Life and has sustained us and brought us to this joyous place.” This is such a powerful statement of gratitude.
With a wedding, however, it doesn’t take much insight to see the overwhelming possibilities for gratitude to exist. This is such a wonderful time for family and friends to enter into the celebration of the two becoming one. There is so much joy felt when family and friends begin all their preparations for the big event. Energy is beginning to simmer, so to speak days before the assembly gathers. In the week before the wedding, family form out of town are arriving with parties and dinners filling the moments before the big day. There is so much to be grateful for as new spouses. You are grateful for each other, for the parents who raised each of you, for the friends who are equally excited for this moment.
With all the emphasis on Thanksgiving this last week, this phrase began to percolate in my mind. As I wrote this down and read the words over and over, I realized that I was given an insight to the power contained in this expression of Thanksgiving. Here are the words that lead us into living life the way we were meant to live, abundantly. “The evidence of being in the right place is the presence of gratitude. The path to the right place is through the practice of gratitude.”