Love is the way I walk in gratitude.
Gratitude is like grace; it “foreshadows Heaven” (ACIM Lesson 169 12:3). It is the sweet recognition of our abundant gifts and the Oneness we share with our Creator. If it were a gesture, it would be the “tipping of the hat,” acknowledging the perfection of all things and the way in which life unfolds. Gratitude recognizes our safety, our forgiveness, our love, and our union.
Gratitude is an aspect of Love. In this manner, can we actually reverse the wording in today’s statement; instead of “Love is the way I walk in gratitude,” it can also be, “Gratitude is the way I walk in Love.” To have one is to have another.
“Gratitude goes hand in hand with love, and where one is the other must be found. For gratitude is but an aspect of the Love which is the Source of all creation” (ACIM Lesson 195 10:2-3).
Yet, what keeps us from a state of pure gratitude? Simply put, ourselves. However, let us dive a little deeper into the Gratitude Embargo we have placed on our gentle souls. Typically, if the feeling of thanks has escaped the option wheel it is because we are caught up in the game of “better than, less than,” believing that we are somehow in lack of something or that we are special because we have more than another. In mathematics, the concept of “better than, less than,” is used to compare two numbers. We have brilliantly taken this elementary concept and translated it to our human experience, constantly juxtaposing ourselves to others and others to ourselves, thus leaving us in a state of flux between abundance or lack, never resting in the neutral state of perfection that we are.
“Love makes no comparisons. And gratitude can only be sincere if it be joined to love” (ACIM Lesson 195 4:2-3).
Think about what gets triggered when we get caught up in comparisons, FEAR. Another simple statement yet it is the foundation of our Gratitude Embargo. Just think about the word “comparison,” it is the height of separating things. It pins a number of things against each other: numbers, people, beliefs, religions, cities, past, future, etc. In a worldly sense, everything is privy to the judgements of comparison. And it is just that, a separation by judgment. When we compare, we see ourselves separate rather than sharing the One Collective Soul. We see difference rather than union.
Once the thought of separation has taken root we feel the need to defend our ourselves, so that no one takes what we have. Or we feel slighted because someone has more and feel the need to take from another, or, we just stay in the pity party letting it feed our idea that we are undeserving, as we watch with the keen eye of self loathing at the one who is experiencing abundance. Comparing is a cascade of fear, leading us to the imprisonment of our hearts and experience.
“For hatred is forgotten when we lay comparisons aside. What more remains as obstacles to peace? The fear of God is now undone at last, and we forgive without comparing” (ACIM Lesson 195 8:2-4).
To abide in gratitude, we must look to the root of comparisons, fear, and lay it aside. Once more, we are met with the ultimate practice of choosing love over fear. No matter the situation, it is a true art to choose gratitude and love, as that is what brings freedom. It frees us from ourselves and our judgments of others. We can appreciate what appears to be lack and abundant in this world and can come to rest in the perfection of it all. This world will always ebb and flow and journeys will prosper and wane, however, the World in which we truly abide, there is nothing but pure abundance. And we are free to tap into that abundance here in this world if we greet our circumstances with grace and gratitude.
It is not about giving thanks in only the good things but in all things. Even when we do not feel like we have anything to be grateful for, we can, in that moment, say a blind, “Thank You,” for that which we cannot see or feel but know that whatever is happening is always for our greatest good. It comes back to the beauty of the mystery and putting our world back into God’s Hands.
“We offer thanks to God our Father that in us all things will find their freedom” (ACIM Lesson 195 4:4).
As we say, “Thank You,” today, we also say, “I free you.”
I free the world from my judgements and comparisons.
I free the world from my control and manipulation.
I free the world from the stories that I place upon it.
I free the world to be what it needs to be.
I free all my brothers and sisters to experience their journeys in the most evolved way possible.
I free myself to feel however I feel in this moment.
I free myself to be grateful for what is, even if it is not pleasing to me and even if I do not know what it is for.
A simple sense of gratitude enables the Heaven that surrounds us to become visible. It foreshadows the love we are cloaked in. As you go about your day, pause at various times and look around you at both animate and inanimate objects, including looking at yourself in the mirror, and say,
“Thank you for your service in my journey. I free you and I bless you.”
Now are you free; free to experience Heaven, free to experience our shared journey. Gratitude is the best way to walk in love. Walk on, Dear One. Namaste.