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Gratitude

Question: I've noticed that the more I hear people complain about their unwanted circumstances in life, the less likely they are to do anything to change them. It makes me wonder if I'm just as ungrateful and unwilling!

Answer: You have discovered an undeniable truth: Until we become conscious of how many more times a day we complain about our life than we feel gratitude for the gift of it, we not only miss the taste of life's secret sweetness, but we continue to sow the bitter seeds of our own sorrow.

Excerpted from 365 Days to Let Go

Question: Many religious and spiritual teachers talk about "tithing" or giving away 10% of your income. Is this something we should all do? What is the reason for doing it?

Answer: The principle of tithing is rooted in something right, but its mechanical practice has become a harmful idea -- binding people to do what most resent in the name of something righteous.

To give to a source of Truth that one feels genuine gratitude to (for help received) is a natural affirmation of the good received. It is right for both parties; and harms no one. To give because one is told to, or afraid not to, is a sin in itself for this binds both parties together into an ultimately destructive act of dependency.

(Excerpted from student correspondence)

Question: I feel grateful for the peace that truth has brought me, but wonder if I am shutting myself off from the whole of life. The more I understand spiritually, the more distant I feel from others. I'm afraid this will isolate me and make me seem "cold," and disconnected to the life around me.

Answer: Your higher nature lives far above the mental and emotional tides that are forever pulling on the unconscious self. This Original Nature can't choose against itself because it is whole. Its silent strength is in its unique "apartness" from the ever-whirling, dizzy world of the unregenerate mind.

There are many special advantages in learning how to be apart from what you've always mechanically accepted as yourself. But, we're not talking about acting cold, indifferent, or separating yourself from life. Just the opposite is true.

Living from an unencumbered mind empowers you to be a part of your own life by making you a grateful and conscious participant in the breathtaking complexity of your own nature.

You enjoy a new relationship with yourself, where instead of being frightened by your own flooding thoughts and feelings, you're eager to know more about them. And this heightened level of involvement in your own life changes the direction of your days in a dramatic way. Nothing can pull you down.

Excerpted from Freedom From the Ties That Bind

Question: How do we learn to "love our enemies" and to be thankful for the difficult people in our lives?

Answer: We can only learn what it means to love our enemies as we awaken to realize that these people (or unwanted conditions) serve to reveal within us what nothing else can do. Our resistance to these people or problems is not created by them... rather it is revealed to us by them, by their unwanted manifestations... something the earnest aspirant learns to be "thankful" for because he or she understands it is how (as long as they are willing) the "dark," unenlightened, still unregenerate aspects of their sleeping consciousness is made aware of itself, and thus transfigured.

(Excerpted from Guy's Blog on GuyFinleyNow.org)

Question: How do I know that "all is well" even when it does not appear so to me? How do I bring myself in alignment with that truth so that I'm grateful for whatever comes my way?

Answer: We must learn to wish for whatever life brings us, for there is no other way to earn the kind of unshakable gratitude that lets us live with grace.

The only way a man or woman will ever know a life without conflict is when they see the Love behind everything that happens -- not by imagination, but through direct participation, recognition. There is never a moment that God's will isn't actually pouring down on us in one shape or form of energy or another. It is never not taking place, which means that we can always be in alignment with a greater will by giving ourselves up to it.

How do we give ourselves up to it? We have to recognize it in that moment where we are stirred, both positively and negatively. Have you ever noticed how little you think of God when things are fantastic? Real gratitude is born out of a certain substance created in the human heart whose very content is born out of recognizing that Love is actually behind everything that is happening to us -- if only we recognized the story and the storyteller and gave ourselves to that will accordingly.

This is the great task. This is the true rebirth in a human being, because rebirth is simply the awakening to and the revelation of something that is waiting to be stirred and seeded in us. A new life is born inside of us from consenting to a relationship with God, and that love that we form within us as we see the goodness of His life. The conception that takes place inside of a soul is the revelation and the birth of this Life, Christ, Truth, Goodness that is in conflict with nothing.

This is the mystery of the ages, the secret of all things, because it doesn't require you and I to do anything other than simply be willing to give our will to what we have seen is right and good and true. It's all around us, and one day you'll see it. You won't walk through your day without recognizing that when an impression comes, it's literally a moment in which you say, "Thanks for helping me to remember why I'm here." And as you remember more and more this relationship born in you is that which gave you the relationship, then you have a life that does not have conflict in it because it is fulfilling the purpose of creation.

(Excerpted from a classroom talk)

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