The light cannot exist without the dark, but light casts no shadow. The heart is the light. Dealing with our demons and being honest with, but not cruel to, ourselves is tough for many of us. What do we tell ourselves? What do we ask our higher power to help us with (or therapists or philosophers or good friends)? What do we say after the words “I am”? Do we punish ourselves or pressure ourselves for what we do or don’t do or mistakes and failures? Do we blame others to avoid responsibility for ourselves?
I’ve written about this before, but it’s worth revisiting. A long time ago, I was advised to pray for the removal of what I don’t want instead of asking for character traits that I wanted i.e. patience. I often found myself in situations that required patience when I didn’t have the skills to practice it. I prayed for removal of my impatience and strength to follow through and things changed. I found myself being more patient and I started learning tools, like meditation, that helped me practice it.
Now, with intentional living, I still pray for the removal of (insert issue)… but I also thank my higher power for the tools and lessons and desired outcomes from the go; knowing that they are already there waiting for me to pick them up at the right time, and that time is up to divine timing as well as my own willingness to create my circumstances rather than passively waiting.
Life is conspiring in our favor, even when things hurt. Trust me. Pain is a great motivator and is sometimes inevitable, but we can turn it into a tool and even transcend the experience of pain with our intention and subsequent action. Suffering really is optional (and the first one of you that reminds me of this next time I complain gets a cup of coffee or tea on me). I say this because this time of year is a painful one for me; a time of year that presents grief as my own source of suffering. The most influential person in my life became sick on Christmas and passed away on New Years day, and each year, I experience a resurgence of grief surrounding this, along with other childhood memories.
Over the years, I have at times I have fallen apart under the pressure of my own suffering and loss, and at other times, transformed my grief as a reflection of the seeds that were sown in my experience with the souls that are gone, and those seeds have been germinating, and will sprout below the surface, seeking the light like a flower growing through cracks. Grief sometimes operates in a cycle; it will pass and return with new lessons. We get to witness the cycle of rebirth in our own souls when the veil is lifted and we know that those seeds were sown with all of the love of the universe working to help us move forward in life.
I have found that one answer to grief is gratitude. My main spiritual practices center on gratitude, as it is the key that unlocks the door to what we want, not an afterthought of something that we receive. Gratitude requires action to keep the blessings flowing and to recognize the blessings in disguise as problems. Regardless of whether we subscribe to faith or reason or seek the balance between both, we can’t argue with this. We can use gratitude as a tool to re-write our experience and transform grief by recognizing the tools and the love and all other blessings from those things and people for which we grieve.
Today I invite the universe to flow in conscious and spontaneous choices through gratitude in the form of intention to remove all forms of duality that do not serve my highest purpose, and I invite silence and observation to lead my inspiration as I continue to take action only seen through myself and Spirit so that I can come to truth in my assessments of the choices and consequences or karma involved as I continue to improve my experience of life. I invite you to join me in using gratitude to transform your own experience as life is preparing us for some of the largest challenges we will face in order to become that which we seek.