How I use gratitude to give all seeming problems the old one-two punch
“There are many words meaning thank you. Some you can only whisper. Some you can only sing.”—Mary Oliver
I was just invited to participate in a Gratitude Summit. As I told the organizers, the reason I answered “can’t wait” is because gratitude, as y’all know, is my wingman.
I use it like I use duct tape. Of all the tools in my kit (and believe me, when you have a thinking cap like mine, you need lots of tools), it’s the one I most often pull out. It’s a multi-purpose utensil whether I’m trying to heal a relationship, fix a physical boo-boo or just feel happier.
I’ve discovered it’s especially useful when I notice I’m marching across the desert towards some mirage that looks an awful lot like a problem. Once I finally lasso my racing mind, the mind that’s squawking “eeks!” “oh no!” “death is surely imminent,” I give it the following one-two punch.
Step One: (again I can only do this when I finally recognize that I’m making it worse by fretting and awfulizing) is to actually realize that this is a gift waiting to be opened. To say thank you that this “problem” is just another rat finally come up from the cellar, one I probably need to look and call out as the poser it is. So thank you “alleged problem” for so clearly showing me I still have resistance. This is an incredible gift when you recognize its healing potential. I mean, who doesn’t want Orkin down there shooing away the vermin?
Step Two: Recognize that whatever this thing my mind is trying to scare me with is one of hundreds of thousands of superpositions in the field of infinite potentiality. This imposter (be it seeming illness, poverty, a disgruntled boss) is literally a tiny spot, barely worth noticing. That’s cause for celebration.
So I can either continue to turn it into a big hairy deal. Or I can say “Hallelujah! Thank ya, Jesus” that I am all-powerful spirit that has temporarily descended into a body and that, with this power, with my very command, I can send it into the native nothingness from which it came.
The Course, above all else, tells us that our salvation lies in teaching the exact opposite of every single thing the ego (or that chattering, blustery mind) believes.
Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.