What is gratitude? I just finished listening to Abraham-Hicks video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OIVg6e5pBQ) and although I don’t particularly agree with their view that The Law of Attraction is the only law that governs our lives, they made a couple of interesting points I’d like to discuss. The first point is to ask yourself, can you appreciate what you don’t want? We easily see the value in appreciating what comes into our lives when it is something that we wanted but what do we tell ourselves about all of the rest? When you stop to reflect on this, you may find that behind each event or happening in your life you have created a story. For example, with almost everything in my life that happens that I don’t desire, I will find a way to add it to my “story” of abandonment. Whether it is on a friendship, intimate relationship or my relationship to money, it is added to my story in some manner. It can be different words, like being unsupported or feeling separate and alone, but it always adds to my experience of abandonment. So what effect does this type of storytelling have on our well-being?
Abraham-Hicks in their discussion on the LOA tell us that we are in control. I believe this is not entirely true. In our world of taking 100% responsibility for everything in our lives we have to remember that we are co-creating with 7 billion other people, and things do happen that are outside of our control. However, we are the ones that interpret what significance they play in our lives and whether we take things personally and what story we will tell ourselves about it. Once you have initially reacted to a situation, you can then choose whether you want to remain in the energy that you initially responded to and adding it to your story about what happened or you can choose to have a new response to an old fear. You could acknowledge that this is not something that has “happened” to me, but just something that has happened and I now choose to be grateful for this new experience in my life, for all the richness it has brought me. Sometimes is it very effective if we dive into our discomfort and lessen its hold of fear over us. Once this is accomplished, decide if it was something that just happened and change your emotional experience of it, or whether our ego is engaged and has made it personal and about US. When our ego makes it about us, it can be much more challenging to shift the discomfort we feel, whether that is rage, anger, frustration or fear. Ultimately, we each need to decide how to “feel” about all that happens in our lives. This is where I believe our control or being in charge lies.
So, back to my original questions, can we be grateful for everything in our lives and what is gratitude? Gratitude is primarily an emotional response to our life experiences, something we experience inside of ourselves that is a state of “BEing” and it is a way to show reverence for what we hold sacred. Often we are trying to control even gratitude by manipulating a situation, by dissecting it to figure out why we responded the way we did. This brings me to the other interesting point that I wanted to bring your attention to from the video. Abraham-Hicks used the analogy of laying new pipes instead of getting stuck in the endless cycle of dissecting every thought and belief we have (at 28min into video). I wonder if our decision to understand why, keeps us always searching for deeper meanings in all of our experiences. This exploration will never end, as it will lead us into deeper and darker areas of our lives. For those of you who have tried, first you look for it in this life then continue your search for understanding in your past lives. This becomes an endless cycle of searching, which prevents us from letting go and moving into a state or emotion of gratitude.
I think that even when something happens that we do not want, the secret often lies in seeing the benefit or to not analyze it all by allowing acceptance and faith that things just are. We try to manipulate everything to our definition of what we want. Instead of just BEing with what happens to us in a state of true acceptance and surrender. Gratitude has the ability to transform us and our situations to the ever elusive “surrendering” that we have been told needs to happen for us to move forward. If we can be grateful, regardless of whether is something we desire or don’t want, then we can truly let it go and lay new pipes instead of trying to figure out what is wrong with us or what we need to fix. (Please listen to the video if you want to understand this deeper.)
So, what are you grateful for, and can you be grateful not just as a mental exercise, but as an emotional response from the heart and also with your gut whose job it is to protect you? What tends to trip us up is that we often understand something mentally, but we don’t integrate it into the rest of our BEing. (mBraining coaching can assist you to fully embrace and come from a higher expression.) Gratitude at the very least needs to be felt in the heart!