|Mon amour, Pierre: my greatest gift|
The Power of Gratitude
It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada: my very favourite holiday, and one which I get to celebrate with my east-coast family, and both of my countries -- one in early October, and a second in late November.
A number of years ago, thank goodness, I was taught the value of living a grateful life at every opportunity, and through long practice, it is becoming part of my nature. It's deliciously easy to be grateful for the wonderful things (like my fabulous partner, Pierre.) The difficulty lies in being thankful for the painful experiences.
I've discovered that, for me, the perhaps-flakey-sounding line, "What you think about expands," is absolutely true. Of course life tosses me experiences that go contrary to my wishes and expectations. I still occasionally fall into the trap of naming things "bad and wrong," and my sensitive feelings do get hurt. But after letting myself feel whatever gets triggered, the next step is to always look for the gifts. (This is where the support and reminders from a few fabulous friends kicks in.)
I believe in rose-coloured glasses. After all, since I'm in control of my thoughts -- at least when I remember to be -- I get to choose the meaning of life's circumstances, right? When things turn out differently than I'd hoped, I ask myself questions like What was my part in this? What can I learn? and How can I do it differently next time? The outcome of this work has been truly incredible. The more good I find in every experience, the more great things come my way, and the more blessed I feel.
Granted, thus far, my painful experiences have been minor compared to others'. I only hope that if or when the extreme ones arrive, my gratitude practice and support system will be strong enough to keep my positive vision intact.