At the end of the movie, American Beauty, the main character Lester Burnham reflects on his life:
…there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain. And I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my…little life.
That is a sacramental moment, the gratitude that arises from pure joy. A grace-filled moment. Full awareness, full consciousness, fully awake. The false self, the little me, wants to hold on to it, on to everything; the true self knows and lets go, and just is.
I don’t claim full awareness. I am no where near it, but I have had a couple moments in my life, especially since accepting the gift of faith, that hint of this. It left me speechless. Words are inadequate. All I could do was be, exist in the moment, and let it flow through me, be apart of me. It let me be apart of it. The gratitude whelmed me over from the joy welling up from a source that is hard to describe. It came deep from within, but not really from me, somewhere different, apart from me, but me, from another place, from an area where the border of who I am is fuzzy, undefined.
Maybe it is the border between who I am and what God is? Maybe there really is no border?
All is pure gift. And if I am honest, if I am open to Love, how could I not be grateful? Joy and gratitude are two sides of the same coin. And that coin is a gift.
A moment later, Lester adds,
You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure; but don’t worry, you will someday.