Several months ago, I had a particularly bad day at work (that rarely happens…). I got home in a state of disoriented grumbling—not a place I like to be. At the time I had not worked with gratitude specifically, but friends had done the 21 day gratitude challenge and I was hearing a lot about gratitude through social media. Not wanting to bring this grumble into my relationship, I lay with my head in my partner’s lap and just started saying things like, “I am thankful for you, and Spot, and Kit…” “I am thankful for this home, my job…” “I am thankful for my family, my friends (listing them)” and on and on I went with every little thing I could think of that I was thankful for. It really worked. Something lifted; something released.
I have to admit, I was surprised. I did not know what I expected to happen… I think it was as much the immediate shift in my feelings as it was the way my feelings shifted that surprised me; it was pretty amazing.
I kind of left gratitude alone for a while after that, thinking about it only as it would come up, but not seeking it out. When I got towards the end of Journey of Freedom, I started thinking more about the relationship between Freedom and Gratitude. I realized there is a whole lot more to gratitude than is out there now in the social media streams, even more than what I experienced that day after work.
In this Journey of Gratitude, I will be exploring the many facets of gratitude. I have not begun to scratch the surface.
The main theme that I want to get into is this: When we know ourselves as Divine expressions…when we feel so much love for ourselves, for others, for Life…when we can feel our oneness and unity with Life…how can we not just exude gratitude, thankfulness, happiness, love, appreciation?
But…wrapped up in this are other themes:
Means to an End – When (as I say just above) we know ourselves as Love, gratitude overwhelms. AND a mind of gratitude opens the doors for us to know ourselves as Love. Gratitude is a means to an end…Divine Love is always the end, the meaning, the point, the all in all. Why? What is it about Gratitude that gets us there? This is something I will explore.
Acceptance – You may recall I have been working a lot on surrender and trust. It seems to me that Gratitude is like walking through a tunnel of surrender and coming out the other side in a state of acceptance, for which there can be only gratitude. Or, that gratitude is like what happens when surrender turns to acceptance. “All is as it should be.” “Yes!” “Ahhhhhh…”
Part of acceptance is “accepting things as they are”. Sometimes it is difficult to be thankful for “things as they are”. So many times I can be dissatisfied or frustrated…but, (and this is HUGE, and something I am only now beginning to see) when we talk about “accepting things as they are”, it is not about the material circumstance, the emotions, the interactions, or the relationships. It’s about accepting the Truth of Life, the Truth of Being, the Truth of Love that lives within, underneath, and around all those situations, interactions, and experiences. This goes back to the main theme above. When we can see/live/be/recognize ourselves as the Truth of Being, how can we not be grateful about everything? I am learning this.
Giving and receiving – If it’s true that we are all One…that we are all facets of the same diamond…if we all are working individually/together to Know our Ultimate Union in Love, do I not owe you my deepest gratitude? Must I not recognize and appreciate the contribution you are making right now? Must I not be forever thankful for you? Rounds two and three will be interesting this Journey!
These are just a few of the themes I have been thinking about. There are more I am sure will come up as we proceed. I really do feel a bit like an explorer, marking uncharted territory…this all feels new to me, and I want to understand!