Part of this season of giving thanks is a reminder to feel humbled and grateful for the blessings in our lives. This could be gratefulness to friends, to food, to shelter, to a thankfulness that the roof stays over the head and doesn’t fall down.
I think we’re all aware of feeling irritated, frustrated, infuriated by the injustices…
The other side of gratefulness is to be thankful for all that is irritating and produces feelings of frustration and anger. Feelings of gratefulness to loss through “breaking-up”, loss from death of a family members, spouse, and/or best friend. You may think these are strange feelings and happenstances to feel grateful.
This kind of gratefulness brings my attention to basic underlying questions of my existence on the planet. While its great to feel grateful for what I think I have or how I relate I automatically exclude all that is unpleasant, irritating and infuriating. When I feel grateful to the pain in some bones of my left foot my attention is drawn there. I’m paying attention to something I might ordinarily forget and then I’m entering into a form of sleep.
Its easier to fight the injustices I perceive when I am grateful to the people that are eliciting unpleasant responses in me.
I think we’re all aware of feeling irritated, frustrated, infuriated by the injustices we perceive in the world around us, but when we are reminded to feel grateful we exclude those unpleasantries, because their unpleasant. When I include all those unpleasant feelings and I allow myself to feel grateful for these feelings something extraordinary abet subtle unfolds. My heart softens towards those situations and people that triggers the irritation in me. Intellectually I begin to understand their point of view even though I voraciously disagreed with them. My awareness expands and I include their beingness while continuing to disagree.
When I make room in my life for irritation and the like more people are included in the tissues of interconnectivity.
Its easier to fight the injustices I perceive when I am grateful to the people that are eliciting unpleasant responses in me. It reminds me that I am a flawed imperfect being and that other human citizens are as flawed as I am. This teaches me to “not take the issues in contention not so personally”. Of course I do – I do take the issues I interpret as injustices personally.
I tell myself to expand my gratefulness practice to include, that which is easy, and that which is tough to practice on a daily basis – and I forget to do this. I often remember that the other person isn’t perfect and I am trying to include them by releasing my irritation and softening my heart to include them in friendship. This works sometimes.
When I make room in my life for irritation and the like more people are included in the tissues of interconnectivity. Debating with these individuals makes more sense when I am grateful for the irritations that connect us because I am working on taking this less personally.