When gratitude is harmful.

Audio: When gratitude is harmful
Download

Mondo disclaimer: I believe intensely in the power of Gratitude (note: capital G). If I were to have a religion (that’s never going to happen, but if it did), it would be Gratitude. Practice gratitude — really practice it, and it will exalt you from the shit of despair to life-sustaining bliss.

Gratitude vibrates very close to the frequency of miracles.

But contrary to a lot of new age lit theory, gratitude is not always the best immediate response to what life throws at you.

As enlightened as it may sound, “finding the gift in the pain” isn’t the first priority when you’re actually in pain. Our suffering does NOT want to be denied or avoided, or glossed over with thankfulness. It wants our attention. When we paint over pain with premature or unexamined gratitude, we’re actually delaying our healing. We’re denying a critical part of our experience — the actual suffering, in which there is incredible power and agency.

Are you grateful that you got ripped off? Or that s/he cheated on you? That you missed your flight, were utterly disrespected and/or neglected, got humiliated, had your bike stolen, grew a tumour, lost the love, were harmed, failed the test?

Wait, don’t answer that yet. 1-800-New-Age-Justified-Feedback called and they said that some affirmations of gratitude will make it alllll better. That everything happens for a reason, that anger is a toxic emotion, that all is well in the universe. (All these things are true, by the way, but they’re only part of the truth.)

When all is NOT well in your part of the universe, THERE — where the wound happened. Don’t make the pain pretty with the theory of gratitude; be hurt, be pissed, be furious, be weak. Be where it’s ugly and uncomfortable — without adding sweetener to it. Spare yourself the karmic explanations, the family of origin connections, the “it’s all good” bullshit.

You with me? Where it hurts? Great. You may only need to be there for three seconds. Or an afternoon. (Too much time there will turn to poison, but you’ll decide for yourself when you’re done with the suffering. I pray you keep it brief as you can.)

And then…

After you have respected the pain and tabulated the lessons then comes the gratitude.

In a heart beat. For how much you learned, for how the mystery leads you into a higher state of being, for how far you’ve come, for how very much you have to be grateful for.

 

related posts
Featured @2x 456x456

Do you think being called “Too emotional” is an act of oppression? Maybe you should think about it.

Stop thinking and start feeling — a lot more. And start talking about how you feel — a lot more. And you know what will happen? You will start to be more aware of how you feel, more of the time — the tenderness, the rage, the genius, the sorrow, the Love. You will feel your power, and you will direct it into the world.

Featured @2x 456x456

How to not give a shit (even though you really do) and be kind about it all.

Love from the inside outward. Some people will take offense to your healthy priorities. Others will take your loving example and love themselves even more.

Featured @2x 456x456

Perpetually cleansing? That’s about right. The 80/20 rule of living your life and cleaning it up.

Deep living is dirty, sweaty, gorgeous work. We will accumulate things. But your Soul wants to be mobile, unencumbered — in touch with all the parts of your life.

Featured @2x 456x456

All the things that softly kill me.

The hate. All the hate. It makes me fume and spin. The light. Oh the light! The light that is powerful enough to transmute hate into Love. “T’was blind, but now I see.” That kind of light.

Featured-@2x

A slight twist on reviewing your year (or life) that could be very, very…illuminating

We’re cozied in the corner booth of the pub with tacos and no one else around. It’s been a doozer of a business week and I have some Very Big Decisions to make. Wait. In case you’re not the story-type, I’ll give you the quick take-away: A short how-to on doing a yearly retrospective.

Poem-Grapic-FB-featured@2x1

a sentiment for blazing

close your calendars
of regret
smash clocks and barriers
with your better knowing
throw soft light on

Featured-@2x3

Self Love and why we’re all effed up about it.

Celebrate yourself no matter what — even if they think you’re tacky, terrible, too much of this, too little of that. Make how you move through the world an homage to your beautiful, luminous, powerful, magnificent, righteous, sacred…self.

That same self who may fuck up tomorrow, but will still be made of LOVE. THAT Self. Love.

Featured-@2x1

Thoroughness (a poem for devotion)

I have expressed from my longing and obstacles
the balm of thoroughness,
rare as rose oil,
nothing cures like devotion.
I stroke it on wounds and desires

Featured-@2x

Easing someone’s suffering…without suffering. Is it possible?

Do I have to feel your pain in order to help ease your pain?

And, if I guard myself against your suffering, am I less useful? If I want to detach from your pain, am I less loving? If I think, “I’m glad I’m not going through that”, am I cold hearted? If I’m grateful for my strength or good fortune in comparison to your so-called weakness or misfortune, does that make me…just secretly horrible?

Monthly-Round-Up-@2x

D Digest: How to be generous, loving your tribe, Online etiquette and calling bullshit when you need to. My November Roundup is in.

Why we relive the painful times over again. (For a good reason.)  You’re not a loser for feeling it again, you’re…soulfully thorough. Find your tribe. Love them hard. (And, is your tribe a healthy one?)  Our people do typically look like us, and quack like us, but magic happens when we stay open to the […]

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This