“Even though conditions such as lack of sleep, insufficient food and
various mental stresses may suggest that the inmates were bound to react
in certain ways, in the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort
of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and
not the result of camp influences alone.”
Viktor E. Frankl,
Man's Search for Meaning
Gratitude is trendy. Virtually every self help book you can put your hands on will advise you to look at gratitude. I'm discovering in my life that expressing gratitude and feeling it can be two different things. We can express it in a hastily written note, or in a journal that documents the little things we give thanks for daily. I don't belittle these practices, because we have to begin somewhere. Acknowledging something good, rather than staying in a feeling of "lack", can be the beginning of metamorphosis. Feeling gratitude, however, is transformative. This feeling comes in spite of of circumstances. One of the best examples of this type of feeling can be found in Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning". Regardless of being in the worst possible human condition, (living in a concentration camp), Mr. Frankl feels and expresses true gratitude for his mind and his spirit, which cannot be controlled by his surroundings. True gratitude says: "I'm thankful for what is." and lets go of the idea that absolute happiness will result from a change of circumstances. Happiness, peace and well being come from within, not from a job change, a new relationship, or a financial windfall.
I'm not standing apart from anyone in this statement, because we are all in various phases of the same journey. I battle with myself daily over allowing myself to feel gratitude rather than simply reciting placating statements. As we enter this season of Thanksgiving, I'm challenging myself to stop, reflect, give thanks, and feel the blessings that abound in my life. I invite you to do the same.WEEKLY SUGGESTION:Take ten minutes daily to give thanks in meditation. Send love, peace and healing to yourself and others through the following meditation repeated 108 times:
all beings everywhere be happy and free.
May the thoughts, words & actions of my own life contribute in some way to
that happiness and to that freedom for all.
Remind yourself of these 5 principles of Reiki:
Just for today, I will let go of worry.
Just for today, I will let go of anger.
Just for today, I will love and respect all life forms.
Just for today, I will count my many blessings.
Just for today, I will live my life honestly.
May you enjoy this day in peace,