Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gratitude in the face of challenges...

It's easy to be grateful for the perceived "good" things in Life.  Gratitude comes easily for such things as friends, a warm bed, the beauty of the setting sun, and breezing through traffic.  It's still important to be grateful for those things but it's also important to exercise gratitude in the face of what appears to be a challenge.  It is easier to do in hindsight as we look back and see how a challenge benefited us, how it helped to make us the person that we are now, but what about when the "challenge" first appears?  How do we have gratitude then?  Why is that important?

When a perceived "challenge" appears on our path it can seem difficult to view it through the eyes of gratitude.  If we are experiencing pain and hurt it does not seem logical to be grateful for it as we can't see the gratitude from where when the pain, the loss, the hurt seems too great, too heavy, too overwhelming.  So how do we find the gratitude?  We don't find it, we choose it.  I have learned that gratitude in the face of a "challenge" is actually a choice.  When this choice is paired with a choice to be open to seeing the gifts, blessings, and opportunities in the situation, it is even more powerful.  Making the choice to be open to it alleviates our having to look for and find it as it will be revealed to us when we are ready to see it.

When the "challenge" appears on my path I chose to be grateful for it, even though I don't necessarily feel it or even know why I am grateful for it.  Does that choice mean the pain magically disappears?  No, it does not.  It has to be felt, honored and not glorified, processed, released and healed.  But making that choice does affect how I walk through it.  If I know there is a gift in it it eases up, even if it might seem only a slight easing.  It affects my mindset as I walk through it as well because I know that there must be a gift in it so that somehow, even if it hurts, it will be beneficial for my Highest Good.  As I chose to see the gifts, blessings, and opportunities in it, even if it is painful, those things reveal themselves to me.  It helps to give me a touch of objectivity about the situation.  It gives me room to choose Who I Wish to Be in relationship to it, even if I have to keep choosing over and over at first.  I can choose to be love in a situation but if it hurts I might choose to be anger without even realizing I have made that choice.  And that is okay because it is important to accept, admit and acknowledge how I truly am feeling.  In this way I process it in a healthy way and eventually I am able to move into the choice of being love in the situation.  The energy is constantly shifting and moving and releasing as I move forward, and being open to the gratitude, gifts, blessings, and opportunities means I will see them when they are revealed.  If we shut ourselves off and tell ourselves there is nothing here to be grateful for, there are not gifts in this situation, does that mean we won't see them?  Not necessarity, but it does mean we won't see them in the moment and it can make the forward motion through the situation more difficult.  We might even get stuck in it and be unable to move forward, having turned the situation into quicksand instead of one that could benefit us.  Eventually, in hindsight, we might see the gratitude and gifts, we might not.  For me, I'd rather see them in the moment because I grow from them.  No matter how difficult or painful something has been in my Life, I have grown from it.  Choosing gratitude and choosing to see the gifts has helped me walk through things in a more positive manner and has always led in my being propelled forward.

This Thanksgiving I am grateful for so many things, there are too many to list.  I am grateful for my son, myself, my growth, my sobriety, just to name a few.  And I am also grateful for the situations that I don't necessarily like at first, the ones that seem painful in the beginning, the ones that I perceive as challenging.  I am grateful for the All of It and that attitude of gratitude has allowed me to see gifts in things that others see as hardship, rocks, and thorns.

 Gratitude is a perception we can view all of Life through, sometimes, it just takes a little practice.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving full of love and infinite blessings.

With light and love,

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