I have read a fair number of forward thinking, new age style self help books in my day. There is a reoccurring theme among many of them: the knowledge that the more thankful we are, the more goodness we can receive.
I'll bet that in the world of spirituality more has been written on thankfulness than any other topic, because thankfulness is the key to turning karma. Thankfulness is the first practice we can use to change how we build our futures.
One of the biggest pitfalls of being human is the idea that, if we work hard enough and do everything "right" we can accomplish anything. While it may be true that we can accomplish anything, it is not true that we can always succeed in a known time frame.
This leads me to a theme of life that I discovered within myself. That we are an impatient bunch of beings and that impatience manifests in many ways. The most powerful of those of course is expectation. Its not that expecting an outcome is wrong, after all the future is ours to build, but expecting it to change in a particular time frame is simply short sighted and impatient. We can propel ourselves any direction, just by directing our energies, but the nature of reality is such that competing energies may manifest for a long time before our energies can.
Here's an example: Lets say that I want to learn to fly a plane (I don't, really). I begin to build a desire to learn to fly a plane. As long as the desire is sincere and not born of selfish wants, then the energy of that desire moves forward through the matrix of possibilities and settles into a node where I get to take my first flight instruction. When will that be? I can't know. My mind can guess, or perhaps even calculate, but it could be wrong. My intuition can know when its likely to occur, but because of the quantum nature of that energy, many other energies may have to be fulfilled before I can take my first flight lesson so even intuition can be wrong. For example, my children might have to grow up, or perhaps the companies that I work for have to release me from my duties or pay me more or ... the list goes on ad infinitum like this and the universe handles the distribution of the energy automatically. The universe manifests reality based on the desires and momentums of machines of matter and mind -- and of course of awareness.
I could perhaps set a goal, a new years resolution to have started my flight instruction before the end of the year, but due to a lay off I might not have the money, or due to the demands of my family life I don't have time.
What ever the road block, what ever is manifesting in my path which keeps the universe from manifesting my first flight lesson, its critically important that I not react negatively. Why? Because if I react with impatience, annoyance, anger, frustration or any of the dozen or so other negative reactions, then my reaction fuels the manifestations of more road blocks.
Reality manifests energy. It does not care where the energy comes from, it only cares about where the energy is headed and it automatically chooses to manifest the realities where the most energy exists. In calm and peaceful times (sat yuga) the amount of energies vying for manifestation are low and the amount needed to change course is also low. But at times like now (kail yuga) there are many many different and varied massive amounts of energy vying for manifestation, so the odds of this little me being able to turn the tide of all the karmas (energies with quality) is very slim.
During these times, it is important for those of us who want to learn to build peaceful futures to use the tools available to prevent ourselves from adding to the hoards of energy that will eventually construct a non-peaceful moment. The biggest tool we have is thankfulness. Although it is possible to be thankful for the negative happenings, it is best to be thankful for the positive aspects of the negative happenings. We should find the silver linings and focus on them, not the clouds.
"Thank you for the opportunity to see my shortcomings."
"Thank you for this chance to grow."
"Thank you for my ability to not react."
"Thank you for my ability to love through these tumultuous times."
Notice I don't focus on the negative occurrence, just on the positive aspects of myself, my ability, my awareness, and my desires to be peaceful.
If I expect a particular outcome, even peace, then I set myself up for reaction and thus feed the energy of the reaction back into reality which will eventually cause the opposite of the expectation again. Its a self feeding cycle that can really make us crazy. To put it more simply: inner expectation feeds manifested expectation.
Here's an interesting point. If I react with thankfulness, I build more positivity, but not necessarily more peace. Its possible to get so much good that I lose sight of peace. Perhaps that's what the satvic quality is: goodness that distracts us from peace.
I love thinking out loud. Thanks for reading.
Causes Brian McKee Supports
I support the cause of peace via peaceful means.