June 20: Day 171
STONE TWELVE CONTINUED
Thank: I am grateful. Gratitude helps me bring out the positive in my life and also makes room for The Divine to bring additional positive situations, people, and spiritual experiences into my life. I thank those who have guided me on my path.
Instruction: Thank ahead.
As we think about gratitude, we often reflect over our past and give thanks for the way things have worked out for us. We also think about our present position in life, and we find things to be grateful for on a daily basis. When it comes to our future, I doubt that many of us remember to “thank” ahead. At first consideration this might seem like a proposition in futility, because how can we be grateful for things that haven’t happened, and how do we know we will be thankful for the future, especially one that comes with pain and sorrow? Gratitude isn’t complete if we are only grateful when things seem to go our way. Gratitude acknowledges that all of life is valuable, irreplaceable, and something that should be cherished. Therefore, we can be grateful for everything that happens and open to the possibility that those things we would rather avoid could be lessons in love, meaningful corrections, and the Universe’s way of giving us better direction.
Stone Twelve states that gratitude helps me bring out the positive in my life and makes room for The Divine to bring additional [future] positive situations, people, and spiritual experiences. Perhaps the word “positive” should have been left out of this Stone, but when we live in gratitude, we find ways to turn negatives into positives. Batteries have a positive and a negative end, and life is often similar. All it takes to turn a negative end into a positive end is to flip the battery around. All it takes to turn what we call a negative situation into a positive situation is to turn around the way we see things. Gratitude helps us make that flip in our minds and hearts. The Christian Bible states: “In every thing [sic] give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV If I may paraphrase that to make it more universal to all religions, I would say: “In everything give thanks: for the Universe brings things into our lives to guide and direct us.” We might not understand the gifts that come our way, and we might even despise some, but if we can open to the possibility that negatives can be turned into positives and find some small measure of hope for the change that is to come, we will open our lives to astonishing possibilities.
Perhaps one positive thing that can come from what we label as negative experiences is our ability to understand what another person is going through when our experiences are similar. In working with individuals who are recovering from religious abuse, I am grateful for having experienced a measure of religious abuse in my own life, or it would be difficult to relate to someone else and difficult to help them. Before I went through that experience, I would not have understood the concept of “thanking ahead.” I wouldn’t have been able to imagine that I would have to go through something so painful, and I wouldn’t have ever dreamed that I could be grateful for all that pain. Because of the pain, I can understand the pain of others, and I can, in many situations, help them in ways I couldn’t have without personal experience and knowledge. Life will bring us experiences that can help us if we will allow it.
Today’s Assignment is to “thank ahead,” knowing that there is a life lesson that might be in store for you, and you might be able to help others as they go through something similar. Be grateful for future experiences, positive and negative, knowing you have the ability to turn negatives into positives.
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