Gratitude (part II)

I wrote about gratitude in my July 2019 article, but this is a more advanced discussion. For starters, it's pretty easy to get into the habit of feeling and expressing gratitude for the good things in our lives. In fact, it's a natural response unless we are so spoiled that we don't really appreciate anything. But what about being grateful for things in our lives that may not look so good?

For example, if we could step back from being human, and view our life from a place of spirit and eternity, the situations in our life would look a lot different. Have you ever looked at the back of a tapestry and seen all of the odd color threads randomly hanging in all directions? It doesn't look very pretty. This is how we see our life from the human side, but the true artistry lives on the other side. Every 'ugly' thread that makes no sense to us, is an important part of an artwork on the other side, and of course the 'other side' is truly who we are, even while here in human form.

So it would make sense to be grateful for every thread that makes us the true, unique work of art that we are, regardless of how strange some of those threads may appear to us. For example, let's suppose that we were to become a selfish, hateful old person, but we experience great loss and it brings us back down to earth where we remain kind and generous and appreciative. From the 'human' side, the loss would be nothing to feel grateful for, yet in this case it was a life-changing experience that kept us real and in tune with what matters. The power lies in being grateful for everything - including loss. So are we to be thankful about a car accident? Our house burning down? The death of a loved one? The short answer is yes, because there is good and bad to be found in every situation. Finding the good is where the power lies.

So we lose a child and give thanks? How twisted is that? Well, it's not, because we are giving thanks for the time we spent with that soul, the privilege of knowing them for the time that we had. Their time was shorter than ours. Who are we to dictate how long a life should be? Instead we express gratitude for the time we had. We lose our job. Our car gets totalled. We get sick. All have a positive element. We may get a better job or start our own business. We get a better car or choose not to drive becuase public transportation is enough and will save us money. The sickness slows down a hectic lifestyle that may have made us even sicker. We learn new habits and regain our health. Or we live with the sickness and perhaps learn patience.

The benefits of being grateful for everything, far outweigh those of just being grateful for things we decide are good. All things are good if we are willing to see them that way, and perhaps learn from them. As we become more whole as spirits, we also enjoy our time here more. It's a win-win situation that many people complelely miss out on.