Gratitude – Give Thanks, Enjoy & Rejoice
Chapter 5: Work On Yourself First
An excerpt from You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
What if any and every moment you experience anger, frustration and stress could be reinterpreted through understanding, forgiveness and love? Would you not be grateful for such a shift in your perceptions?
Remember in the Godself’s view, there is no experience or expression other than that of love or a call for love, a call for assistance. Thus, if in any moment you perceive that your brother is doing something that is causing you anger, frustration and stress, then understand that not only is he asking for assistance, but that you yourself are asking for assistance. Yes, you have unconsciously asked your brother to help you bring forth to your conscious mind those areas in your life where you still perceive that reactions and expressions of frustration, anger, and stress are correct and proper responses to God’s creation.
Where the ego-self has trained you to act and react with frustration, anger and stress, the Godself is trying to remind you of the true gift that your brother is offering. Remember that every moment that the ego-self defines with frustration, anger and stress, that same moment is seen by the Godself as a gift to be grateful for. The gift is allowing you to consciously bring up the blocks to your awareness of love’s presence. The blocks must be brought to the surface, seen, experienced and understood before they are dismantled, and that is what your brother is offering you. Once the blocks to your awareness of love’s presence are dismantled, all that is left is the awareness of love’s presence in every moment. Would you not be grateful to your brother or sister for this offering? Would you not be grateful to them once and for all for assisting you in dismantling the blocks of frustration, anger and stress and showing you the moment as it truly is? Is not the replacement of anger, frustration and stress with love a wondrous gift? Would gratitude not be the proper response to such a gift?
So forgive your brother or sister for what you think they have done to you. Forgive the moment for your interpretation of it. In truth, your forgiveness is a way of saying thank you for your brother or sister’s participation in your remembering process. Thus, instead of using judgment as a response to your brother or sister’s action, understand and remember what your brother or sister is truly offering, and forgive and thank him or her for it.
If you were awake, you would be thankful for each and every moment. Gratitude is the knowledge that God’s will is being done. My friend, if you can take any of the ego’s efforts and, instead of judging or cursing them, offer gratitude for them, the shift you will feel and experience will be not only noticeable, but life changing. It will be life changing, for if you can see one of the ego’s efforts as an illusion that you can simply forgive, it will open the flood gates to the knowledge that you can treat all of the ego’s illusions the same. My brother and sister, imagine for a moment how your life would change if what you once cursed and judged you now forgive and bless. How would this change your life? Would gratitude not be your response to such a change?
Try shifting your perception from a thought system based on lack and scarcity to a thought system based on kindness, abundance and gratitude. What do you have to lose? You have likely tried it the ego’s way and have been rewarded with judgment, sorrow, regret, animosity, hostility and pain. Know that God is in you, as well as in your brother and sister. Know that the part of you and your brother and sister that is God recognizes, acknowledges, salutes and blesses even the smallest gifts or the slightest kind word you offer. Believe me when I say that even the most Lilliputian of efforts to be kind and loving to your brother and sister is honored by God.
Continue to work on re-training your mind, for as your mind begins to heal, the world itself will begin to heal. There will be days when you experience life through the ego. There will still be days when you allow the ego to tell you what is right. On those days you will experience judgment, stress and pain. But now there will also be days when you will simply listen to your Godself. These days, you will experience love, peace of mind and joy. Do not judge yourself for listening to the ego, but simply stop when you experience judgment, stress or pain and ask yourself if this is truly what you desire. Regardless of what kind of day you are choosing to experience, offer gratitude for it, for it is bringing you into closer alignment with your Godself. As author Dan Millman writes in his book, “No Ordinary Moments:”
14 Life has cycles. Whatever goes up, comes down, and what falls can rise again. Progress can be slow: We remember, then we forget, then we remember; we take two steps forward, then one step back. No matter how enlightened we become, we still face the realities of daily life.
A lesson on enlightenment may be learned from the following anecdote:
A young man had spent five arduous years searching for truth. One day, as he walked up into the foothills of a great mountain range, he saw an old man approach from above, walking down the path carrying a heavy sack on his back. He sensed that this old man had been to the mountaintop; he had finally found one of the wise-ones who could answer his heart’s deepest questions.
“Please, Sir” he asked. “Tell me the meaning of enlightenment.”
The old man smiled, and stopped. Then, fixing his gaze on the youth, he slowly swung the heavy burden off his back, laid the sack down and stood up straight.
“Ah, I understand,” the young man replied. “But, Sir, what comes after enlightenment?”
The old man took a deep breath, then swung the heavy sack over his shoulders and continued on his way.
Socrates (character in the story) once told me, “A flash of enlightenment offers a preview of coming attractions, but when it fades, you will see more clearly what separates you from that state – your compulsive habits, outmoded beliefs, false associations and other mental structures.” Just when our lives are starting to get better, we may feel like things are getting worse because for the first time we see clearly what needs to be done.
“After illumination,” Socrates continued, “difficulties continue to arise; what changes is your relationship to them. You see more and resist less. You gain the capacity to turn your problems into lessons and your lessons into wisdom.”
14. Dan Millman, No Ordinary Moments, Copyright 1992, (H.J. Kramer/New World Library).
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