Thu, September 20, 2012
The Ride to Gratitude
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough,
and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order,
confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home,
a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Having gratitude is one of the keys
to a happy life.
Most of us have a “Roller Coaster ride” that loops wildly around in our heads. It careens at will, its own, not ours, for as long as it wants to or so it would seem.
This is the “ride” of accumulation from our past, even this morning, when something went horribly wrong and unexpected. It roars between our ears reminding us of something that happened that was not of our choice or was disappointing and it doesn’t even matter how it started, I just know it is based upon regrets, guilt, betrayal, longing or anything. We are sorry for something we did or didn’t do or we are anticipating a time that is based on fear of the unknown…so many possibilities…so little time. It’s exhausting!!
So how in the world do you get off the roller coaster once it has launched? Or better yet, how can you not even buy a ticket for the ride?
If you don’t take control of your thoughts, they will take control of you. So listen to what you are saying in your head, pay attention to your thoughts, witness your Self and tell yourself with authority the new rules…and check in with your inner Self often. How are you feeling? What was THAT about? Why would I think THAT? Use your thoughts as a roadmap to your emotions and inner health. Your feelings are the Truth, so check yourself often, make a habit of it. That’s how you get off the roller coaster once it has launched; by listening to yourself and becoming a terrific self witness.
Once you have learned to stop the ride, you can turn your thoughts to Gratitude. It is the single best way to turn the tide of your old patterns…Gratitude brings space between thoughts, seizes the runaway train of regrets, or resentment. Feeling Gratitude in the deepest sense turns our attention from the inward commotion and chaos to Peace…and appreciation.
I was 16 and I don’t remember the circumstance, but obviously was having a very hard time growing up. I stormed out of the house and plopped myself on the front steps. It was cold and beginning to snow, getting dark and I was furious, I do remember that. As I am ranting to myself about all that is wrong, “they don’t get me”, “why won’t they just let me…”, “I hate parents, and I hate school, and I hate expectations, I hate..” and suddenly…I saw…

In that moment of taking a breath, I realized the snow was really coming down, my rear end was frozen to the concrete step I was sitting on, but I could see clearly all of a sudden. In the street light the snow looked like it was raining mashed potatoes and it was beautiful and it was sooooo quiet as all the sounds from the busy street were muffled to silence. I was awestruck. I forgot what I was mad about, it didn’t matter any more and I let myself go absolutely Still.

A massive smile took me over and everything had shifted in that moment. I was suddenly making an offering upon the alter of life as I began to declare again but on the other side of the spectrum… about all the things I love. “I love THIS!” I love hearing silence, I love that I can feel this cold and be happy about it, that I can feel it. I love my family, I love …I love….I LOVE!
I listed things I had never even considered before, I loved that I had never consciously loved little things, big things, silly things, important things and I felt clearly the fact that in that moment when I allowed my anger to change into Gratitude, my life would never be the same again .  .  . in a very good way.
And THAT, is how you avoid the roller coaster, In Gratitude. Thank you.

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