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I am exhausted and I miss Paul and I am not pleased about either of those facts (or are they feelings?).
But I am not repressing my current reality.
In fact, in keeping with the topic of today’s lesson, I’ll gladly say I’m grateful for my weakness.
Gratitude is the source of everything good
I have a lot of superpowers. I can talk with spirit guides, clear chakras, connect with the deceased (sometimes), create healing energy with my words, navigate the upper realms, say no when I don’t want to agree to something, and more.
But the most powerful thing I can do is give thanks.
I know that yesterday I asserted that forgiveness was “everything” and “the truest way forward.”
And that is still true. But it is gratitude that makes everything possible.
Because, yes, forgiveness is absolutely key to healing and growing and moving forward. So is acceptance, aka non-resistance.
And gratitude is the hands down most efficient way to get there.
Katherine describes gratitude as “a kind of alchemy that transforms our very experience of life.”
I describe it as the main ingredient of miracles.
That time when gratitude miracles got me out of an abusive relationship
Seven years ago around this time, I was desperate to leave my relationship with Leo.
After more than three years of trying not to be afraid of my boyfriend, I’d finally admitted my truth (see Lesson 25). I just hadn’t told it to Leo.
Unfortunately, I had an evidence-based concern that if I told him I planned to move out in January, he would evict me from our home immediately.
So I’d started a secret search for apartments in November, and by December I was beginning to have a plan.
But I couldn’t imagine how I could move out in a peaceful way. I thought it’d take a miracle.
Fortunately, I found a book called Make Miracles in Forty Days, by Melody Beattie.
That book was a game changer. So much so that I would rather you read it than me try to explain it (even though I already kinda did try to explain it in Lesson 37).
Suffice to say, the technique was a specific form of gratitude practice, and the miracle I’d prayed for—to be “safely and peacefully out of this relationship”—showed up right on time. (Though it did take time.)
So safely leaving Leo was the first miracle I experienced as the direct result of intentional gratitude.
Next up was overcoming a drug addiction.
That miracle also occurred, and many others have followed.
These days my problems are far less drastic or dramatic, thank the good lord.
But gratitude is every bit as important.
Giving thanks = acknowledging what is = allowing for more of what’s good
When we’re in resistance, it is hard to be in flow with the universe, aka an endless source of love and light and a benevolent force that wants to help us get where we want to go.
“When we give thanks for everything in our lives,” Katherine says, “specifically and exactly for the way they are, regardless of our preference for them to be different, our lives become lit up with joy.”
And the benefit of being lit up with joy is that “we become an absolute magnet for the blessings of life.”
So, since life is “consciously redefining itself according to our consciousness, gratitude is the absolute best way to attract all that is good and lovely and wonderful into our lives.”
Lesson 47 in practice
For this lesson’s homework assignment, I wrote five pages of gratitude.
“While five pages may be a lot to ask,” Katherine acknowledges, “the ability to shift your awareness from ‘lack’ consciousness to ‘abundance’ consciousness promises to completely alter your experience of your life. Because of this, I believe it’s worth the time and effort.”
My understanding of how gratitude affects the abundance/lack mentality is different from Katherine’s—I prefer Melody Beattie’s method, which does not require you to rationalize why the bad things are actually good.
But honestly the outcome is the same: lots of gratitude, total acceptance, room for release/abundance.
So I dutifully filled up five pages of a very narrow-lined journal.
My musings did not start out to be particularly uplifting or insightful.
(I’m grateful I don’t have a bigger journal. I’m grateful these lines are so narrow. I’m grateful you can be grateful for things you’re not really grateful for. I’m grateful this seems needlessly tedious.)
And honestly, given my state of exhaustion and impatience, a fair portion of the five pages contained commentary about the exercise itself:
I am grateful that I am not even halfway through with this exercise and I really want to quit. I am grateful that I am too stubborn to quit this exercise because what if there really is something miraculous about it?…
…I am grateful that this horrible assignment is basically forcing me to slow down and be in the present moment, because even though my mind is racing and I am squinting one eye, that is how tired I am and how much I would rather take a nap, the truth is that the only way these pages will fill is if I keep writing one line at a time…
….I am grateful that I am on page four out of five and that it’s beginning to seem possible I will soon finish this assignment…
Of course there was plenty of other substance to what came out. I clarified my appreciation for my family, for my living conditions, for small luxuries and large blessings.
And of course Paul came up more than a few times:
I am grateful I miss Paul so much, because it is not an empty desperate kind of missing so much as a valid and substantive one, so I am grateful I was connected to someone worth missing…
…I am grateful that I keep thinking about Paul every day, because it gives me the chance to practice patience and compassion for myself.
And finally, by the time I was finished, I was just getting started.
…I am grateful that although I am nearly done with this exercise, I also feel like I could keep going for pages and pages. I am grateful that gratitude is so powerful.
Love > fear,
Want to know what happens next? Proceed to Chapter 48.