Melody Beattie says, “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” And I couldn’t agree more. True gratitude is an overall appreciation for what is (and isn’t). It is the fundamental practice that allows us to create space in our lives for contentment, peace, joy, love and equanimity (mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation).
Suffering stems from the denial of “what is.” Resisting what is will not change it. In fact, it seems to bring us more of what we do not want. Byron Katie said, “Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.”
There is something inherently scary about the “unknown.” We all flock towards safety and comfort. But the thing about life is that there is little certainty, and though we think we are in control, it’s really an illusion. We have no control of anything outside of ourselves. But we have total control of our own choices and state of being. If we want to cultivate inner peace and contentment, it’s imperative that we practice having trust and faith in the Divine plan and order of things, knowing we are safe and supported by life fully.
We’ve all been told “be kind,” or “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” but what you may not know is that studies have found that practicing random acts of kindness is like nourishment it improves creativity, growth and overall health. Also, it was found that most of us are more likely to act kind towards a stranger than those we see everyday. Ouch!
Being true to ourselves, saying what we mean and meaning what we say are certainly key components of a free life. And we all say we want honesty from other people in our lives. In fact, it’s usually high on our list of “must-haves” for a relationship. People get so hung up on it, though, that they spend all too much time over-thinking and questioning others’ words and actions looking for loopholes and evidence of dishonesty. That’s the ego, again. Afraid to get burned, it becomes the grand investigator and leaves no stone unturned in its pursuit of dirt.