Let me tell you another way to release tension. By two simple words, much of your entanglement will unwind. The two simple words are Thank You. Or three words, Thank You, God. You will be amazed to find that those few words are like a palliative. They melt away frowns. They remove burdens. They erase excessive discontent. They restore you to your rightful place as part of the cosmos.
Thinking Thank You generates thankfulness. These words work because they are the right words to express the right sentiment. Say them silently to yourself. Do not speak them that much. In the world, show your thanks more than speaking it. Speaking it makes it less meaningful. After a while, thanks, when said idly, lose their luster.
Yes, there isn't one thing that you cannot find something in to nourish gratitude. Yes, I said, not one thing but in everything. In everything, there is blessing. Of course, to experience this, you have to change your thinking.
Even when there is a death you mourn, there is something that you can truthfully express thanks for. Perhaps your loved one's passing has emphasized for you the depth of the love you have held in your heart. Perhaps you can be glad your loved one is in Heaven now, that he has the peace he longed for, and that you long for so avidly as well. Perhaps your loved one's passing is bringing others in your family closer together. At the very least, the body death of one you loved, at least for a while, gets you away from the surface of life, and you are real and without pretense. And you can say:
"Thank You, God. Thank You, God, for the strength I have to get beyond my heavy heart and to, once again, find a place for myself under the sun. Thank You, God, for my life right now. Even when I suffer, I am intact. Even when I suffer, You are here. Thank You, God, that I have You to rally around and find my balance in. I have You, not as a phantom, but as my Source and Sustenance and Stability in a world that shakes me. You give me Your Presence, and You give me Your love, and You give me this life in which to live and to return to You. I am solvent in Your love, God. Thank You, God, for all this."
There is not one experience that does not carry blessings to you. All challenges carry elements of appreciation that they will bring out in you. True, you will not be the same. You will be better. You will have gained sadness, and you will have gained experience. The hard way or easy way, you will have gone deeper into the heart of life as you walked on the stepping stones of life.
Certainly, beloveds, you have skipped some steps along the way. You can even be thankful for all those stepping-stones and hills that you did not have to climb. Like an artist who paints the spaces rather than an object, you, too, in your life can paint your gratitude for all the trials you were not given, that you did not have to grow from, that you did not have to tread your way through. You can recognize the hurdles you did not have to go through. Whatever your beginning, your heart can hold its recognition of the glory of life and the glory of God and the glory of those who enact life on their way to the Elysian fields of Heaven. And you, no matter what jungle undergrowth you may have been caught in along the way, you have been right in step with the threshold of Heaven and Heaven itself.
Yes, beloveds, you can certainly be grateful for where you are today. Whether your life is rich or barren right now, you can love the ground you walk on, and you can love your strength, and you can love Me and be glad that I AM and you ARE.
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