Gratitude

The small and the large. The significant and the insignificant.   I am thankful to be witness to the little things, and to the big things in life.  The Metta Sutra says, “Wishing: in gladness and in safety, may all beings be at ease.  Whatever living beings there may be, whether they be weak or strong, omitting none, the great or the mighty, medium, short or small, the seen or the unseen, those living near or far away, those born and to be born-May all beings be at ease…”

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Wildflower, Northern, CA 6/2016 CMG

I started writing just gratitudes, in letter form, to the Divine, in April 2016.  I had a regular writing practice, my Morning Pages, that I had been doing for 5 years.  Morning Pages are Julia Cameron’s invention from her book, The Artist’s Way.  Morning Pages are 3 full pages of spontaneous, flow of thought without too much thinking.  Morning Pages morphed into Gratitude Pages.   They worked really well for me for years and they removed the sludge that had to be auggerd to allow a clean, direct connection to My Creative Self, which is my True Self.  Now that that is relatively cleared (it does need auggering now and again), I have this direct path to the Divine which was and is my birthright.

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Redwoods, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Crescent City, CA 6/2016 CMG

These pages, 2-3 each morning, are in letter form.  “Dear Divine Beloved”, they say… “Thank you for this glorious morning.  Thank you for these eyes that see the rain clouds, the ears that hear the rain fall to the ground, and splash the leaves, my nose that smells the wetness in the air, mingled with the moist grass, dirt, and leaves, my skin that feels the damp and shivers as it takes in the wet wind.  Thank you for another day, a new day, with new choices, new awarenesses, new possibilities.  Thank you for your Divine plan, whatever that may be.  I know only this moment, this is the only moment that I can be in.  Thank you for the grace to let go when I need to let go, to accept when I need to accept, reject when I need to reject.  Thank for love in all of its forms.  I am loved and I am love.  I am forgiven and I forgive.  Thank you for the strength, the intelligence and the humility and the insight to know when I need to use them and which one to use.  Thank you for being a mother.  I am so blessed with two beautiful children who have taught me so much.  Thank you for allowing me to teach them.  Thank you for our deep connection, our ability to be open, honest and accepting of one another. Thank you for the love between us that never goes away.  Thank you for my insight and clarity in all that I do to make good decisions that benefit the highest good of all.  Thank you for the people that I connect with daily.  Thank you for all that I learn in my interactions, all that I give and all that I receive.  Thank you for my talents, skills and abilities that are unique and allow me to do good work, in a good way and for good pay.  I am blessed to always have food in my belly, to have choices about what I want to eat and to be able to make delicious, healthy meals for myself, my family and friends.  I am so grateful for my loving, supportive family .  I am thankful that they believe in me, and that we have healthy ways of communicating our needs.  I am thankful for music in my life.  I am thankful for my healthy, strong, fit and youthful body that enjoys dancing freely to the sounds of music.  Thank you for this body that is able to do all the activities I love doing. Thank you for the woods, the forests, the beaches, the fields, the sidewalks and the country roads that my body moves so freely in and through.  I am blessed with so much abundance in my life!  Thank you.  I release these words into the Universe as Law, let them be so.  With love and gratitude, Carrie”

The idea of the gratitude list first came to me through a 12-Step program.  The letter to the Divine came to me via May McCarthy’s book The Path to Wealth which led me to the book, The Game of Life and How to Play it by Florence Scovel Shinn. Thank you for the path that led me to them and to here, where I am.

Of letting go…Surender.

cropped-dsc_04441.jpg Life is a struggle from the beginning.  It takes all your energy, all of your letting go to allow what needs to happen to happen.  And in that part of the sentence, lies the key.  If a baby were to struggle, fight (which maybe they sometimes do), things don’t get easier, they become more difficult.  The baby might have to be taken with forceps or C-section which is much more traumatic for the baby.   But if the baby naturally goes with the contractions that are meant to ease the baby out, it is less traumatic…difficult, yes, but a necessary process.

I have been fighting a process. The process of the dissolution of my marriage. I sooooo wanted it to work. I was going to fix it- all by myself! I laugh when I say that because that is crazy thinking. How am I suppose to do THAT when the definition of a relationship is the state of being interrelated, connected? I need the other half to connect to and that other half needs to want to connect with me.

So, I have been struggling, resisting, clinging to what I know…the womb. I don’t want to come out! I don’t want to face the unknown! I KNOW what the womb is like…I know how my husband’s arms feel around me. I know his quirks, his routines, his likes and dislikes. I know what to expect and not what to expect. Yet something was moving me. A force bigger than myself that was pushing me out, making me experience the unknown; this grief, this black pit called despair, bringing me to my knees (literally), sobbing uncontrollably.

Through this I am finding that the only way I can survive is by surrendering. Because every time I struggle, things get worse. The noose gets tighter and I fall harder. So I surrender. I have been brought to prayer, meditation, and yoga. And as I surrender, more things come to my aid; a phrase, a kind wish, a thoughtful phone call, a cup of tea, a shoulder to cry on. I have found through surrender a Power Greater Than Myself. I have been standing on the edge of a bridge many days and something gets me off the ledge. That makes me wonder: would I have found such faith had I not been given these struggles?

Someone said something that resonated with me this week. She said, “There is a possibility that things could get better.” I thought to myself, ‘Yes, there is. They could get worse BUT there is the possibility that after divorce, things could be better.’ I am scared. I am not always so hopeful when so much is coming at me all at once but in THIS moment, and this moment is the ONLY moment I can be assured of…THIS moment is good. I am open to the possibilities.

“The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us. ”
― A.W. Tozer

“Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change. the world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world.”
― Marianne Williamson

“God had brought me to my knees and made me acknowledge my own nothingness, and out of that knowledge I had been reborn. I was no longer the centre of my life and therefore I could see God in everything.”
― Bede Griffiths