Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gratitude tunes you to love

I exist in a state of gratitude. I get up thankful for a new day and go to bed grateful for my bed and blankets. I love the way the sunlight filters into the windows at different times of year, enjoy the sun, the rain, and everything in between. But when situations or people are challenging, that is where the angels have taught me to use free will to find something to be grateful for. It hasn't always been easy. As humans many of us were conditioned to complain, to see the negative far too easily and to ignore the positive.

A few years ago when I twisted my intestines and had to remain awake and upright for days at a time, with no sleep and no sitting or laying down, it was a challenge to be grateful. But honestly I was grateful for the fact that the angels had taught me about embracing the present or it would have been unbearable. When I was so tired that I fell asleep cooking the first meal I made after that ordeal, started a fire, and filled the house with smoke, I was grateful for both the fact that the angels woke me up and I stayed alive and the incredible job the insurance company did - restoring my house to better than it was before.

When people have been unkind to me in unthinkable ways I can't say I grateful in the moment, but I have learned to look back and see that I needed to learn to stop being a martyr, to embrace healthy boundaries, and to say "no" to those situations that robbed me of my God given joy and ability to focus on doing good in the world. Even those experiences I can now look back upon and give thanks for.

There is great power in embracing gratitude, not only for what is easy and good, but also for that which has challenged us. We lose our "victim-hood" and embrace our "truth" when we find gratitude. We learn that although the path has been paved with both joys and pains, we have learned, grown, and embraced a kinder reality. The bumpy, rocky, rapids of our lives can give way to streams of grace when give thanks for it all.

In the words of a Rascall Flatts song, that I absolute love (see video below):

Every long lost dream led me to where you are.
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars,
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms.
This much I know is true.
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you."

Gratitude is like turning the dial on the radio back to the station that broadcasts love into your life, and saying, "Yes indeed, Dear God, Bless the Broken Road that Led me Back to You!"

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