Imagine – your wish can be granted. What are 5 things you most needed when you were growing up which you feel you didn’t get? They can be yours.
What did you answer? The question is a powerful one. When I ask this of my clients I get powerful answers. I never hear them list things they didn’t have, like more money, better clothes, a nicer room or better vacations. Even from those people who grew up in households where money was scarce, I don’t hear “more food on the table”. Instead the responses are far more valuable: respect, choice, attention, encouragement, freedom, or honour for their individuality, to name just a few. And as I support them through the unraveling of layers of hurt, their deepest desires distill to one thing- to be loved simply for who they are. Not for always studying like a model student, not for behaving well, not for winning at sports, and not for doing the right thing, but simply for being.
Imagine if each morning and each night you, as a child, had been greeted with “thank you for being”. Years ago I read that this was a practice of the Senecas, an Iroquois tribe, and thought to myself how differently our lives would evolve if every child received this unconditional blessing, again and again. Hurts would heal, shame wouldn’t carve wounds into our sense of self, and praise would land in our hearts as genuine truth. To be appreciated for who we are without any limitation of judgment or expectation is the most freeing grace we can receive from a fellow human being. A former partner once left me a little note that read “thank you for being you.” He’s left me many others, but this is the one I cherished most deeply.
Yet, the greatest peace comes from bestowing this acceptance upon ourselves. In our more vulnerable moments, when we lower our protective guard and let our mind release its fears, we can find it in ourselves to appreciate the beauty around us and the relationships we weave. At these times, nature can be a mesmerizing wonder. Friendships are encircled with a halo of unbreakable bonds, and families are held like treasures that have been newly polished, despite the tears and nicks from their long history. Gratitude lists and journals can be abundant with mention of things, people and places. But if I ask you now “For what are you grateful?”, how many of you would first think “me”?
You are worthy of gratitude. Not for what you’ve accomplished, or what you have earned, or how you’ve succeeded, but simply because you are a splendour of Creation, simply because you are on this earth. Some of you may have heard me say this before but we can never hear it too often: there has never been anybody like you in the entire history of this Universe, there is nobody like you now, and there will never be anybody like you ever again. You are singularly unique. You are the greatest miracle in the world.
My favourite book of the same title, authored by Og Mandino, so completely awakens us to that point. The complexity of you as a human species alone is enough to celebrate:
“Your heart is strong…thirty-six billion beats each year, year after year, asleep or awake, pumping your blood through more than sixty thousand miles of veins, arteries and tubing….Count another blessing……In time all steels will tarnish and rust but not your skin…Count another blessing……your lungs filter life-giving oxygen through six hundred million pockets of folded flesh while they rid your body of gaseous waste…Count another blessing……Your brain is the most complex structure in the universe…Within its three pounds are thirteen billion nerve cells, more than three times as many cells as there are people on your earth. To help you file away every perception, every sound, every taste, every smell, every action you have experienced since the day of your birth…Count another blessing……”
But it doesn’t end there. Consider that your body has been customized! Your mind sees perspectives and imagines differently than all your neighbours. Your heart has experienced the blend of emotions that only you could have felt. And we haven’t even begun to contemplate the infinite potential within you that you have yet to unleash from behind your fears.
If we truly took this understanding into our hearts we would always be praying gratitude. Think of it – one of the simplest ways to bring yourself into alignment with Spirit and open your heart is to focus on someone for whom you are grateful. If you lived with the rich knowledge, always, that you are a miracle, you would always be in union with Spirit. Gratitude would be more than a conscious pause to transform negativity into a higher vibration, or a tool to attract more, or a way to center when fears are overwhelming. In fact, fear wouldn’t exist. It couldn’t exist. You would release yourself from looking externally for any sense of well-being because you would acknowledge that you are one with Spirit and the highest and purest of love that encompasses all that is. You would always honour that you are connected to all else. You would always embrace yourself with the most tender love, and you would relish every opportunity to be more of who you are. It’s only your fears that create the illusion of separation from all this. But how can you separate yourself from what always exists? God is everywhere, always, including within you, all ways. How can you not be amazing, incredible, outstanding and miraculous?
You are Creation. You have the Creative Force within you. You have the power to choose what you co-create with the Universe- fear or love. You can create your life into self-respect, loving attention, encouragement, and your own sense of freedom. Everything in your life flows from you, and all others on this earth benefit from the ripple of your loving gratitude. Gratitude increases infinitely. Collectively we become a vibration of appreciation.
You have been given the opportunity to experience life to its fullest extent with all its joys and sorrows, wonders and mysteries, simplicities, complexities and paradoxes. BE thankful for all that you know you are and all that you do not. This is surrender. Open yourself to the miracle of you. When you take a moment to give thanks for all your blessings, be sure to thank Spirit for being you. Let that be the start of your daily living prayer.