Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
— Melody Beattie
Humans are problem-solving wizards. We are hard wired to observe, experiment, adapt, reorganize, try this, try that. We have the gift of anticipation, extrapolating from our experiences, in order to successfully predict what’s coming. We use these skills to survive the ever changing environment in which we live (made that way, in part, by our own busy hands and minds).
Perhaps that’s why we tend to fixate on our problems. We chew on those irritating, worrisome parts of our lives until we can resolve them, or until something worse comes along, to divert our attention. Perhaps that’s part of the reason that many of us develop an undercurrent of thinking that is always waiting for things to get worse.
So ideas like “The Law of Attraction” thrive, promising us that if we can just turn off the juice that keeps us focused on worst case scenarios, they will never occur. If only it was that simple! If so, then our national strategy of blind, stubborn wishing it were so would bring peace and democracy to Iraq.
But I have observed that we are (thank the Gods!) not the rulers of the Universe. We are only sometimes the rulers of our own lives. In fact, it takes a lot of practice to even begin to order our own consciousness. We live in a balancing act, it seems, between manifesting our will, and being buffeted around by chance.
Knowing how and when to let go, surrender with grace and gratitude, and when to strive, demand, struggle without surrender — this is the great dance of our lives, indeed, of our human history.
More thoughts about this tomorrow.