Question: I’ve noticed that the more I hear people complain about their unwanted circumstances in life, the less likely they are to do anything to change them. It makes me wonder if I’m just as ungrateful and unwilling!
Answer: You have discovered an undeniable truth: Until we become conscious of how many more times a day we complain about our life than we feel gratitude for the gift of it, we not only miss the taste of life’s secret sweetness, but we continue to sow the bitter seeds of our own sorrow.
To have real gratitude, to have that fullness of heart that, by its greatness, fulfills the one who holds it, begins with allowing God to give you a portion of His Life… a gift one can only receive once he stops giving himself what he thinks he must have to fulfill his life.
This life of ours can either be one of endless servitude or endless gratitude, and we must choose which it is to be. To choose to live a life of endless servitude to a master that promises pleasures but delivers punishments is to spend our life living from the ideas that we presently hold to be true concerning the purpose of our own existence.
The life of servitude is the life where a person meets every experience with refusal. Presently, when life brings us experiences that are not serving what we have said is our purpose — which is to find a sense of contentment and completion — we say, “This isn’t what I want. I don’t want what you have brought to me, life.” This isn’t what I want is how we meet any experience that doesn’t confirm us according to the ideas we hold to be true about ourselves and this life. And we become the servant of a master of an idea called “my life.” This isn’t what I want means that we are meeting the experiences that life is bringing us with the refusal to see ourselves.
The life of gratitude begins when a person starts to recognize, not from a mental idea but from actual involvement in their own process of self-awakening, “Ah, this is what I need. Thank you life, thank you Father for bringing me what I need. I know your purpose is bigger than mine. I know you understand better than I do what I need.” That’s what a father is supposed to be! Someone who understands what we need before we know we need it, and the more we see that we need the experiences that have come to us, the more we’re able to quit the self that has produced the very experience we’re running from.
Real love wants nothing outside of itself…