What do you associate with the word ‘gratitude’ ?
“You should be grateful I did x, y, z for you”, “I worked my fingers to the bone to get you into college”, “It hasn’t been easy for me” ….
It usually meant that you were being emotionally blackmailed into doing something your parents wanted you to do. It can feel heavy, uncomfortable and obligatory.
Being grateful becomes associated with paying back dues, about somebody having ‘one over’ on you, with feeling judged, oppressed and heavy.
Phew! What a legacy.
I would be willing to bet that there are quite a few of people in the world who have been in exactly the same boat at some time or other. It can often lead to a life of not receiving, as you learn to live from resistance and fear.
Receiving could mean, albeit subconsciously, that you would be obliged to ‘pay back’ at some point and maybe you didn’t want to be ‘pinned down’ by this controlling behaviour, as it was then perceived. It can lead to mental, emotional and physical depletion over time and eventually even result in illness or serious disease.
The practice of reflective awareness can really turn all of this around.
In spiritual meditation you go underneath all of these feelings and conditioned behaviours to reveal and experience the true and unconditional generosity of spirit. From this place of pure and abundant joy, we can only associate the word ‘Gratitude’ with an outpouring of love and joyful praise, a celebration of the awesome abundance in and around us.
It is an acknowledging of the Great Source of beingness that has provided us with so much joy and so many joyful moments both inside and out. It represents a real shift from a heavy feeling of oppression and control to a light, easy outflow of appreciation and an open, free and singing heart.
It is the result of an arrogant ego trying to take control and be the master, to lord it over others and it takes us away from our true nature, separating us from what is real. The effect is often loneliness, depression, alienation and illness ….
The second represents a return to our true nature, to our free, spontaneous, joyful and generous self, our bright and playful soul. When we are connected to the ever flowing breath of life, the ever abundant Source of our being, being grateful is easy, spontaneous, nurturing and feels oh-h-h so right.