Let's take a moment in between winter and spring and think about tudes. Which ones came into your mind? On my walk I thought of grati, atti and soli. Gratitude is the easiest for me because all I have to do is look around. For instance, I'm sitting on top of my bed right now. I like my bed. I like the cherry wood four posters. I'm grateful that the bed matches the night stand and they both match the armoire and dresser. I'm glad we bought them. I also like my cozy down comforter and my house slippers. I think Martha Stewart would approve of the thread count in these new sheets. I'm glad they were on sale. Our window is open and I'm grateful that the weather is getting warmer. I'm lucky to be able to smell the fresh air. Pretty soon I'll need to have the comforter cleaned and put it away till next fall. With gratitude, I'll say good-bye to winter. I'm grateful for my glass of water on the night stand. I'm glad we have good water. I'm glad I can swallow. I'm grateful I'm married. I love my wedding ring. I got a good deal when I got Danny to go down the aisle. I should be so grateful! I am!
Now, attitude. Hmm...I have a pretty good attitude since I just spent time with gratitude. Let's see what Webster says about attitude: a mental position with regard to a fact or state. A feeling or emotion toward a fact or state. A ballet position similar to the arabesque in which the raised leg is bent at the knee. I'm grateful I don't have to take ballet lessons anymore! Now I'm looking at the mail on the dresser. My good attitude just took a slight dip because the only mail we got today was the phone bill and our property taxes. The taxes went up and my feeling or emotion toward that fact went down when I opened them. Oh well, I need to be grateful that we have property. I should be so happy that the county treasurer thinks this place is worth so much. Just think, we could sell it and make a bundle! I'm glad I don't have to move. I'm glad I'm not homeless. I wonder what Danny's attitude will be when he gets home. I wonder if he'll be as grateful for the taxes as I am.
Now I'm thinking about my attitude about solitude. In her book, The Cup of Our Life; A Guide for Spiritual Growth, Joyce Rupp writes, "Solitude helps us to listen, to see with greater inner clarity. Solitude refreshes our awareness of God and of ourselves. Solitude is the empty space that we deliberately choose in order to be with the Beloved. In solitude we can savor this goodness and give ourselves space to really listen. When we are occupied with life's many details and are rushing about in the marketplace, only the surface things of life usually get our attention. Solitude can help us to disengage and detach. It is when we are alone, uninterrupted, single-minded, and single-hearted, that some of the wonderful inner fruits come to the surface. If we want to learn how to grow spiritually, we will need the discipline of solitude. It gives meaning to our lives. It re-awakens us to the presence of God in every aspect of our lives. Give yourself to solitude. God awaits you there."