Archives for category: Letters of Gratitude

Doubt is perceived as negativity ( as in “I doubt myself”), as the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word. In neutral context, when someone says “I have a doubt”, or “I doubt it”, we think “we are not out of the woods with this one”. Either he does not trust himself, or others. This explains why doubt always sounded negative to me. As if society does not want us to doubt about anything.

 

I have doubted myself, on an ad-hoc basis. To this day,  good sense tells me to trust my gut feelings, but sometimes, doubt tells me another. This is not a healthy relationship between doubt and myself. Doubt is intrusive and wrecks havoc in my “supposed to be serene” emotional space.

 

I want doubt to become a reliable friend, pointing to the most appropriate,  greatest direction. Doubt seen as a hint, an arrow pointing to a rock that needs to be turned. Doubt always brought me to the past, to memories better forgotten, forever present in my psyche. Doubt noises polluted me with undesirable thoughts.

 

I am now creating a new path with doubt, giving it a new definition. Choosing to use doubt as a tool, I now develop my own ways of letting reality sink in, by giving it a positive spin. I am grateful for all of my emotions, including doubt, as it is through experiencing them fully that I am being informed about who I am, my needs, and how to better align with my dreams and values. Doubt as checkpoint, a moment of truth captured and dealt with. Doubt as arrow pointing to the best adjustments and choices, hence becoming who I really am. I now adopt doubt as the proverbial arrow, a companion on the greatest journey and destination.blog

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Impermanence, is it what rainbows teach us? How many minutes last the life of a single rainbow?
Rainbows remind me of the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy has everything inside her to walk the golden path. What meditation made me realize, is that whatever rainbows mean to us, whether love, money, travels, comforts, even the alleviation of suffering, everything you could think of or experience is not of great importance. In the end, it is not what we do, successes and failures that matter. It is the meaning we give to life experiences and choices. The same quality and amount of love (if such a thing could ever be quantified) can be the outcome of both extreme difficult experiences and happy and opulent ones. For me, this is the ultimate reality of the Instant.
I appreciate rainbows for their colors, surprising appearances along our paths, like messages from the universe saying: “Don’t forget, you only have now. Look at me, otherwise, I’ll be gone, or you’ll be gone.” It is interesting how impermanence has such a profound effect on our days. Rainbows do not exist after all. Only our perceptions and interpretation of them exist, like everything else in this world.
Take my own identity and personae. For example, how many micro-connectors exist on a computer motherboard? Each connection is important to make the thing work, but does not exist by itself. What a great metaphor for me as an individual. This is what we have not yet understood about death. We must play out our own lives the best we can, while being part of a whole. Immortal and essential even though infinitesimal for the universe to work well. Once dead, the energy of my body will transform. All other interpretation seems a poisoned gift from my ego.
Thank you Rainbows. I bow.

I started to write Letters of Gratitude to the invitation of Rob Martin and Jack Pollock, who founded the Letters of Gratitude website, http://www.thelettersofgratitude.com/, and wrote the book http://www.amazon.com/The-Letters-Gratitude-Rob-Martin/dp/1478101172/ref=tmm_pap_title_0. They suggested a full list of words on which to reflect and write, and discover for ourselves what the word meant to us, and how each of us could develop gratitude for the manifestation of this word in our lives. This is a simplification of the beautiful work Rob and Jack did.

I have committed to write a Letter of Gratitude for each word included in Rob and Jack’s list. That was about a year ago. I completely messed up the process for myself by extending the practice for over a year instead of the suggested 30 days. I still enjoyed the depth to which the “digging deeper” brought me. Then, I got stuck with the word Secrets.

Secrets and Authenticity are the two ends of a spectrum. Developing gratitude for how the concept of Secrets in my life has materialized seems an impossible task. I simply do not have secrets. Authenticity has been the strongest blessing and the most damaging curse of my life.

I suspect, without any proof and many hints, that my mother has kept key facts of her life and experience under wraps. I suffered for it (think “unexpressed traumatic frustration”). The impacts on my life have been notwithstanding very real. These hidden facts, if they exist, are her secrets, not mine. Throughout my life, I have been a seeker of authenticity, in others and in myself. I have refused to play the games people play in society and in friendships, because it goes directly against my grain.

Like Buddhists say, we should be grateful for all that life made us up to this day. In that sense, I am grateful for people in my life from which I sensed they had secrets, or did not act authentically.

Solitude is not loneliness. Solitude is a gift in the timespace of our existence. How can one befriend him/herself if not in solitude? How can I, as a human being, get to know myself better if I do not regularly take time with myself to learn, read, reflect on a full life, and my attitudes toward it?

I am lucky. I am an introvert. I am an only child. I do not have family, apart from my dear husband. I re-energize when I am by myself. I like to learn and discover. For me, crowds and parties are so superficial when a deep relationship does not exist with each and everyone of the guests. God whispers in the quietness of one’s heart. I make time to try to open my heart to listen to my intuition.

There is a whole other universe (in fact part of this one) that is to be discovered if we are willing to open our senses and intuition to the invisible realities. The world in which we live is the effect of everything to be discovered in solitude.

The life path I am following offers many opportunities for solitude. I learned a lot through that state, and I will continue to. I have deep gratitude for such circumstances that enable me to fully enjoy the freedom and time for endless discoveries and the  deepening of my quest for the mysteries of our life on this earth.

Thank you my shadows. I do not want to name you, but I recognize you when you are actively at work in my life.  I know I must befriend you, know you better, although I do not yet fully understand why. Probably it has do do with the radical acceptance of who I am in the present moment, the sum total of everything that has influenced me, good or bad, and that I have kept inside myself and carried with me, consciously or unconsciously. From my readings, I learned that there is a positive side to you all, shadows. I also realize I am the one to operate the transmutation from shadow to light.

I tasted the effects of your impacts on my life and did not like it. I have been misjudged and misunderstood so often it has become unfair. I am not a victim though. I have learned many things about myself, thanks to you shadows. I have learned that I was unconsciously living in fear. That because of those fears, I was constantly in a state of trance. This trance brought forward in me behaviors that did not fully reflect in the outside world the truth about my intentions.

Getting to know you well, my shadows, is the work of a lifetime. Getting to know oneself I find is the most adventurous journey. The transmutation to qualities of light, love, kindness and peace is my daily duty and commitment. It is not easy all the time.

Thank you for accepting to reaveal yourselves to me, and to morph into love gems as I gain, over time, the discipline and courage to face you, like the fierce warrior I want to become. Facing Truth and Reality, with Radical Acceptance, is what you all thought me my shadows. You can melt away now, and shine light.

Let’s not forget this series is called Letters of gratitude. How could I not have gratitude for lust? I cannot imagine anybody not interested in the call of nature.  I always had the feeling this Lust word had a bad reputation; maybe that is because English for me is a second language, a second culture. It seems to me that libido is an essential part of any healthy grown-up psychological and emotional landscape. In some cases, the emotions are left out (ok, many cases). I never understood why we human beings tend to give more importance to the excessively negative use of realities as opposed to the joyful aspect they bring to life when experienced with balance, honesty and love.

I cannot remember being alive and not having experienced lust. Even as a young child in hospital, I would reduce the adults around me to the size of a Barbie doll and strip them naked in my imagination. This certainly was a perfect example of a power trip. The learning of power we can have over others.

My childhood fantasies were filled with a lot of scenarios cradling my nights. At twelve years old, I was crying at night, envisioning the certainly numerous upcoming troubles and heartaches of dating I would have to go through to finally be able to choose a life partner. I understood early on that lust is an essential component of the growing up process. It was a big aha moment when I realized my desire for another was reason enough to honor my experience, to get to know myself better as opposed to align my choices and behaviors to social and religious impositions.

Lust helped me break barriers and invisible veils, dig deeper within myself to get to know myself better, identify my dreams, my own nature, my strengths and weaknesses, my expectations over others and life. When curiosity & joy have met and been fed, the slate is clean to address more serious considerations and choices. Lust is an emotion that can grab you viscerally. It is the call for joy, enthusiasm, appreciation for living and expressing in the moment. I am grateful to have welcomed the calls of lust, and experienced its gifts with all my senses. The legacy is a self-generating and permanent joy, deep inside myself, that nobody can steal. The assurance that this world is tremendously inviting, because it is never fully experienced.  Lust as freedom calling me to become who I really am with so many choices in this buffet called life. And ultimately, the path to learn to love ad infinitum, really.

Resentment is an emotion, a feeling, and as with any positive or negative state, provides information to us if we are open to listen to its signals. Who, as a human being, has not experienced the slightest level of resentment?

I have experienced resentment. As I grew and matured, I learned the extent of damage living a life of resentment can lead to. I aspired to love, to be happy. Resentment had a role to play in my life. I needed to get away from the people I resented. Resentment was the signal something was wrong and insane in those family relationships.

Resentment was my call to action, a strong invitation to forgive. It is said that forgiveness is accepting the fact that the past could not have been different. I then probably have forgiven. The issue is always the present. Forgiveness does not mean you act as if nothing happened in the past with the people you resented.

People have not changed, and will not change. I tried several times to move on on a positive note. Resentment resurrects very early at each attempt to connect, to visit, to mend the past. Archaic behaviors, born of ignorance and blatant unconsciousness, emerge with their verbal abusive colors. The scars have healed, and I moved forward with my life, but they suddenly break open at the slightest attempt to build a new bridge. Resentment is a signpost on the road of my life, saying: “your time and energy will be better spent elsewhere.”

Everyday, I choose love and happiness. I choose my thoughts. When resentment shows up, I listen, and take a positive approach. Then I say: it’s dealt with. Go away resentment. When seen through the eyes of love, the sacred can be found in every situation, every decision, every choice, every silence. Resentment pointed me towards more love for myself, and more respect for others. Thank you resentment, you were useful. Now unless you have something else for me to consider, please dissolve  yourself into your nothingness.

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