To have and nurture a practice of gratitude is a very useful and healthy habit. It serves to expand our appreciation of that which we have brought into our lives; the blessings, privileges, relationships, support, prosperity and love. To remind ourselves of the good things regularly, opens up the possibility to bring in more of the same. This practice can be especially helpful when things go wrong: when the car breaks down making you late for work, when you screw up an interview, when your flight gets cancelled, when the dog pukes on the bed as you’re leaving the room to check on your crying toddler during dinner prep. It helps us reframe our immediate experience to focus on the positive things we do have going on, which is great when it looks like everything’s going to shit at the moment. It motivates us to get through whatever unpleasantness or inconvenience we’re experiencing.
So- how does being grateful act as an excuse to be complacent? It may seem counter-intuitive, but hear me out.
Say you have a friend who likes to create drama in her life. Whenever she calls, you dread answering the phone because you know you’ll end up feeling energetically drained. Your normally upbeat outlook will be dimmed and you’ll feel diminished. But, she’s sort of a friend, and you feel obligated to listen and support, even though you know she’ll never act on the advice she asks for from you. You tell yourself to be grateful for her, because she has picked up your kids after school once or twice.
If you want to create a life that is aligned with who you really are, you might find yourself eliminating people from your circle because you aren’t happy with the way you feel after interacting with them. And yet, something that resembles gratitude sneaks into your mental space, telling you that you should be grateful to have someone like her who can help out in a pinch. This is not true gratitude.
When we are actively working on changing something in our lives, what looks like gratitude is actually resistance. As we work to change circumstances and are busy creating a new result, resistance is guaranteed. It shows up in many forms: procrastination, forgetfulness and just plain quitting are common ones. But “gratitude” for what we already have may also arise. Why? It’s the ego’s way of keeping us where we are: comfortable with the familiar. You might tell yourself: “But I already have ______. Why should I change anything? This is pretty good, right? I have it better than Matt and his wife!” (or whoever) :)
It’s time to check yourself. This is not gratitude. This is egoic resistance and you need to recognize it for what it is before it derails you from your goal. The good thing is that once you identify it, it becomes easier to avoid as you move toward your desired outcome and your highest potential.
Knowing your soul-level gifts and qualities sets you up for success in creating what you truly want. It facilitates moving into the highest expression of who you are.
Need more information on discovering your soul gifts and qualities and clearing the negative karmic patterns keeping you from manifesting your goals? Go here to learn how we can do this via the Akashic Records and Soul Realignment.
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Sara Martin: Soul Transformer, Creatrix, Teacher.