First, no, this post isn’t about anal sex. Get that out of your mind for one second (but hold that thought. LOL).
I wrote the following while going through a particularly challenging period in my life. Just as love and respect attracts safety and creativity, fear and hate attracts needless suffering. Therefore, I’m going to take the lead and post on gratitude. I usually don’t this tagging bullshit, I find it boring. However, I feel this one is worthwhile. This is how it works: if you read this (in whatever form), you have been tagged -- in other words, you have to post a blog (or write in a journal, or present, etc.) on the things you’re grateful for. If you don’t do it, I will use emotional blackmail (or haunt your dreams) or otherwise use whatever tactics to make your internet experience a less than pleasurable one. ::grin::
You been tagged, muthafuckas, now get to expressing gratitude! LOL
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-=[ Gratitude ]=-
“Don’t say such changes cannot happen. A vast freedom could live inside you. A loaf of bread wrapped in a cloth for the table is just an object, but inside the human body, it becomes gladness for being alive!”
It should go without saying that if you wanted to get somewhere, a good map or accurate directions is a good place to start -- it can make the difference between arriving at your destination with ease, or becoming hopelessly lost. Imagine, for a moment, if a friend raves about a restaurant or club and when you ask your friend for its location, she says, “Just visualize the restaurant clearly. Post a sign on your refrigerator door that says, ‘I can easily and joyfully find any restaurant I want!’ That’s all I need to do!”
I’m sure most people would think such a statement ridiculous -- and they would be correct. But what if my destination is “self-acceptance”? What if all I wanted was to reach a state of inner wholeness that I have never experienced before? Like the restaurant in the above example, I may have heard wonderful things about it, but I had never been there and didn’t know how to get there. Perhaps many of us can relate having been told to, “Just do it. Just accept yourself.” That’s a lot like being told to “Just go to the restaurant,” without the benefit of directions.
Let me just state it as plainly as I can: today, I am grateful for having that direction in my life, for the luxury of getting to and experiencing self-acceptance.
Let’s try another example. What if you ask how to get to a restaurant and you’re told that before you can even begin to find this restaurant you need to spend several months, or even years, thinking about how bad your own cooking is. You need to explore the reasons why you aren’t happy with your own cooking and why you have this need to go to the restaurant. In addition, before you can visit this restaurant, you also have to understand how you became such a bad cook. I would say this is sillier than the previous example.
A common belief is that if we understand a problem well enough, it will simply disappear. Yet in my life, at any given moment, I could’ve articulated the intricate psychodynamics of my $300-a-day heroin habit and still not be able to change.
Today I am grateful for the freedom from the tyranny of thinking and the over analyzing that was the prison of my life -- literally and figuratively -- before I became free.
My life is not about affirmations or positive thinking. Shit, I have tried many times to overcome my limitations by sheer will power -- trying to act or feel different, telling myself over and over that I would be different. But I discovered that is approaching the issue from the outside in -- it’s trying to rearrange the same furniture in order to create something new. It’s a lot like taking pain medication for a broken bone: you might feel better for a little while, but the core issue, the broken bone, hasn’t been addressed.
Today I am grateful for the many people who have helped me do the “inside job” of creating a lasting transformation.
Most of all, I am grateful for having an underlying sense of wholeness and well-being whether or not things are going well in my life in the moment. Even when things seem to be falling apart, I feel resourceful. I have had this experience numerous times and slowly it has become my default way of being. I am grateful for developing and maintaining an inner sense of self, well-being, and wholeness and perhaps a connection with something beyond myself, that sustains me in difficulty as well as in good times. I am grateful for the awareness that this inner sense of fullness and integrity, and a strong resourceful self is available to each of us, and is our own birthright.
I ain’t all that well, believe me (LOL!), and have times of sadness, frustration, of anger and irritability -- that’s part of being human. But I am equally grateful that even in those times I can still have an underlying sense of joy in my ground of being. I have an inner knowing that I have the resources to weather the storms, an unbeatable sense of optimism that I will come out on the other side of my difficulties not only intact, but also wiser and stronger.
What more could I ask of my life?
All of us have personal limitations we have struggled to overcome. With some of them, it seems that no matter what we do, they won’t go away. Most of us turn away from those parts of ourselves we don’t like. We feel shame and try to repress feelings we don’t want to have. We try to “think positively” and push away negative thoughts. These approaches will never work -- they never seem to create natural, lasting change. Maybe I can appreciate so-called negative feelings such as sadness because I learned the hard way that not feeling -- of being numb physically, emotionally, and spiritually -- is a worse fate than any genuine sadness. Perhaps having experienced that numbness, I am grateful for being able to feel.
Most of all, I am most grateful to be able to emody the message that the way to happiness is through our limitations.