Sunday, March 4, 2007

Gratitude and the LoA

When you read The Secret or watch the movie, there's a lot of talk about gratitude. Many of those featured talk about attracting something by "being in the feeling place of having what you want, feeling the gratitude". It's suggested that we write out lists of the the things we are wanting to attract into our lives, starting...

I am so happy and grateful now that.....

I have life full of love/ I have a million dollars in the bank / I am living in my dream house / I have perfect health

and so on.

It's also suggested that in a realtionship with another person, we focus just on the things we love about them, and be grateful for all those things. Energy flows where attention goes...what you focus on expands...and so on.

I certainly was finding that that brought a great deal of positive energy into my marriage. At one point I was driving home from work and called dh, and we got into a rather tense conversation about The Secret. Now I was already aware that we were not seeing eye-to-eye on all this stuff, but I decided not to get into an argument on the phone. I was wanting to keep up the good vibrations I had been feeling.

So for the rest of the hour that it took me to drive home, I worked on thinking about all the things I love about him. His practicality, and the way he takes care of the house, the taxes, the financial planning....his sense of humor...his intellect and his cultural took me a while, but by the time I got home I was in an incredible mood! When I walked in I could see the guardedness on his face (because he was expecting that we would argue), which turned into bewilderment when he saw the bounce in my step, and pleasure when I told him how I'd turned my mood around. So that was a very satisfying lesson in the power of gratitude.

But what about when you just can't get there? When you're just too hurt angry to dig out those things you love about him or her from the back of your mind where they accidentally got buried? When even trying feels icky and false?

I had a night like that recently.

Now as I've said, since discovering the Law of Attraction and its implications, I've experienced great healing in my marriage. But it's new, and we still both feel vulnerable. For whatever reason, thee was one evening when we had a discussion that showed that both of us weer still scared of the hurt we'd experienced before. Once again, our differing views on the Law of Attraction became a flashpoint. We kind of made it up, but I felt conflicted and torn in two, and resentful and angry as a result. I couldn't sleep, and I couldn't find the gratitude either. I felt deeply dissatisfied with how the conversation had turned out, and any gratitude I could feel for him was trapped behind that fence of resentment. Here's how it turned out:

Feb 22 '07 [from my journal]

Last night was not pretty. I felt trapped – between following what I know to be true or keeping dh happy. I went to sleep feeling so sad, sadder than I’ve felt since that night in January, and that bleak.

I woke at about 5, on the far side of the bed. I really couldn’t turn my mind to gratitude. I lay there feeling angry and disappointed and betrayed, and that dh had pushed just about every button again that we were supposed to have healed.

So in the end, I thought, well, anyway, this isn’t serving me. If I can’t be happy with him, at least let’s find something else to be grateful for. I’m so grateful...for this bed (how I love that bed! When we were in a good place financially a couple of years ago, we bought the best bed we could find. It amazes me every time I lie down on it). ....That I can feel.....That I’m alive (that got me going – after all, what a miracle, and with it anything’s possible)..... That dh is alive, so there’s still hope for healing here.....That we have a comfortable home....That I just had a long drink of water from a bottle by my bed (an unimagined luxury for half the world)…and so on.

I’m so happy and grateful that I’ve learned about the LoA, and that I know it’s true. I’m so grateful for friends…for the wonderful women who hold me up at MDC.

I began to feel better…I tried again to find the gratitude in the relationship. Couldn’t get there without it feeling icky and false. I felt misunderstood and sad – aha! CONTRAST! (As in, "it's OK to know what you don't want, becasue then you can figure out what you DO want.") OK….I knew I didn’t want to be sad. Better to be in that better place instead,and not be thinking about df and feeling angry…..I want to feel loved and understood. Don’t worry about how, let the universe figure that out.

I’m so grateful and happy that I am loved, understood and appreciated for who I am.

I decided that I would post only that on MDC, and not give energy to the previous night by writing about it. Just….

I’m so grateful and happy that I am loved, understood and appreciated for who I am.

I’m so grateful and happy that I am loved, understood and appreciated for who I am.

OK….now I’m getting there! As an added benefit, I began to able to just kind of see him where he was and not be upset about it.

By this time I was lying on my back, instead of turned away from dh as far as I could…

I’m so happy and grateful that I’m lying here wide awake, because I have time to get up and clean the house and get a good start on the day.

So I got out of bed and went to the bathroom. When I came back dh was awake.

I stood near the bed and explained that I had been awake since 5am because I couldn’t sleep. He asked if it was because of last night.

I said yes, I had been about as unhappy as I could be because I'd felt that just about every button I had had been pushed, but I’d decided to use what I’ve learned to get out of it because I didn’t want to be in that unhappy place, and now I was fine.

Then I sat down to talk to him. I said what I’d really learned from the LoA is that you can decide every minute to be happy, and that I had made that decision, and it had enabled me to see where he was and that was fine, I didn’t need to hold it against him.

He seemed pretty happy about that.

I explained how I’d started by being grateful for the bed, etc.

We ended up holding each other. He said, "Thank you for deciding to be happy." It clearly meant a lot to him. I explained that that was really the most important thing that I’d learned from the LoA stuff.

The beauty of it is that I had just shown him in the most beautiful way what the Secret is really about! Even in the darkest moment, when I thought that he really wasn’t going to get it, all the good attraction I’d previously been doing was bringing us there! When I thought it wasn’t working, it was!
Now here's what I learned from this.

When I started all this, I thought the gratitude stuff was a good idea! I "got" that it helped you to imagine the feelings of what you want, and to put that good vibration out there. But I also saw it as kind of like homework. You do this, and you qualify to start making things work for you.

What I learned that night, however, is that

Gratitude isn't a prerequisite for the Law of Attraction.

Gratitude IS Law of Attraction in action!!!

When you're in that place of gratitude - whether it's for the bed, your partner, the roof over your head or just the water you're drinking - you're attracting a better and better life to you - however you define that - right now!

There are always things you can feel grateful for. Being alive is a miracle. Sunrise is a miracle. Even loss - we feel loss because we were lucky enough to love whatever we lost. There's always some little thing you can grab on to in order to pull yourself higher, and higher.

I'm so grateful for my wonderful family, and for the fact that I got a few minutes to stop and blog these ideas out here. How about you?

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