Category: Gratitude

My Ever-Expanding Addiction

“When you say “Yes” to something,
you include something you do want in your experience.
When you say “No” to something,
you include something you don’t want in your experience.”

— Abraham, Esther Hicks

This is not about judgment. That is another subject entirely; however, it is about choice. It is very much about choice. It is all about choice, and the most wonderful news about that is that we all have that same exact power. Yes, the same exact power. No one has any more of it or any less of it than we do. We are all equal in our power of the choice of our thoughts. We may have practiced letting others influence us to one degree or another, but we are the chooser. We may even have practiced allowing others to choose for us by relinquishing our own power to them, but that is still our power that we chose to relinquish. We are still in power. We are still the chooser. We are still equal in our power with each other.

The title of this post is my ever-expanding addiction. I have become addicted and it is constantly expanding and becoming more addictive as my life unfolds. This addiction is a choice, as are all addictions. Yes and no are not judgments. They are choices. They are powerful and even life-changing choices. They are choices of focus. It is not good or bad. It is a choice of one or the other. Yet, it is not like a switch where one is on full and the other is off. There seems to be always a mix here. But, that is not important. What is important is the choice and that choice will be telling for sure and for certain.

My addiction started long ago and has been expanding all this time. Now it is ruling my life as addictions often do. My addiction is appreciation. It is gratitude. It culminates in joy.

Years ago I began to learn to appreciate more. When I say more I mean more than that which pleased me. It is so easy to appreciate what pleases us. It is not even a conscious choice. We like it, it pleases us, and so we appreciate it. My real addiction began when I chose consciously to appreciate something that was outside of those unconscious pleasures. I began to see with new eyes. I began to look for things to appreciate about something I may not have given a second thought to. That decision changed my life and yet I knew not how much it changed or how powerful the change was until I began practicing full time.

As my practice grew, I grew. It brought me such grand pleasure once I let go of all the rules and just began saying yes. Now it is an addiction that I cannot kick, nor would I have any desire to do so. I now am in constant appreciation. It has become a huge part of my life.

Focus is one way to see this. I can focus on the pothole or I can focus on the road. I can focus on the long line I’m waiting in or I can focus on the opportunity it gives me to practice my patience. I can focus on what I don’t like, or I can focus or even find what I do like. Again, it is not about right or wrong, good or bad, it is simply and powerfully a choice of focus. As I choose to focus on the pothole, I can continue with my choice to see that pothole with new eyes and to see the opportunity that the pothole is providing me. This excites me even more until I am in a state of total appreciation. I choose. I am choosing. I have the same exact power as you or any other. I choose this addiction. It has become the best aspect of my life so far.

The Guest House

“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”

— Rumi

Good and Gooder

“Thou hast given so much to me,
give one thing more, –a grateful heart,
not thankful when it pleaseth me
as if Thy blessings had spare days,
but such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.”

— George Herbert

“He who thanks but with the lips,
thanks but in part;
the full, the true Thanksgiving,
comes from the heart.”

— J. A. Shedd

“As we express our gratitude,
we must never forget
that the highest appreciation
is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

— John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Becoming a grateful person requires practice, and it also requires letting go of anger, disappointment, complaining, and the like; however, I need not make a complete and immediate turnaround, as it is just fine with the little-at-a-time method of accomplishment.

As I’ve found in my life, the more that I am grateful, the less I find to be unhappy about. It is an accumulating process that overshadows, or rather, weeds out the need or desire to complain or be angry or unhappy. Even as some of those seemingly negative things pop up from time to time, they are so easily dealt with by finding what in them there is to learn from them and to be grateful for.

At first, it may seem strange that something that is making me angry or upset could have something in it that there is to be thankful for, but I have learned that it is in there somewhere.

As I widen my field to see a bigger picture of something I’ve tuned into that is upsetting to me on the surface, I cannot help but find something or even many things to be thankful for. The cause for anger or concern then becomes a source of celebration instead of a pity party. I really think that this was what Paul in the Bible was referring to when he said to be thankful for all things.

All experiences can be experienced as for the good of us or another if we only look at them with new eyes and learn to respond instead of reacting. It is the small picture; that is, focusing on the thing that is distressing to me, that keeps me upset. Heck, I may even find that by widening my field of vision that we can see myself in a previous time causing the same stress on someone else. A little patience goes a long way here.

My mother told us when we were very young to count to ten before responding when something makes you mad. Not bad advice, really, but even better, is to look for the benefit in all events, and then it becomes much easier to be thankful for all things. Once I start looking at every situation as a way to learn and grow regardless of how it causes me to feel at the moment, progress is imminent. I now absolutely believe there is a reward for me in every event or situation. As I change my judgments from seeing good and bad to seeing good and gooder, I find the joy that I really wanted all along.

Giving and Receiving

It has often been said
that to give is better than to receive.
I completely disagree with this truism.
If there is any measurement worthy here
it would be they are exactly equal.
They are equally important, equally valuable,
and equally, enhance our joy.

For either, or both of these to work fully,
it is important, to begin with, a grateful heart.
From a grateful heart, giving is joy.
From a grateful heart, receiving is joy.

How we receive has everything to do
with how we are willing to give.
And, let us leave ‘things’ out of this for now.
How we receive life, events, circumstances,
and all manner of so-called problems
has everything to do with
what we are willing to give.
Our perspective is engaged in all we do,
and all we share, and all we are.
Underneath all, we are love.
And, love gives and receives equally in joy.

Injoy Your Day Today

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Mesa AZ