Below are three Enemies of Gratitude, meaning that when these things exist in our minds or hearts then gratitude cannot. The environment that these emotions create cannot sustain the life of anything that has the ability to propel us closer to the people we want to be. Here are three of the enemies of gratitude that Roni discussed in class.
This is one of the most unintelligent emotions human beings have. If you want something, you have to greet it everywhere you see it. If you want success, you have to develop a friendly relationship with success. Everywhere you see it you must greet it, be excited for it, whether it be a competitor or a person who hasn’t been kind to you, or someone you feel hasn’t worked hard enough for it … it doesn’t matter. If you want a relationship, rejoice in the positive relationships around. You are cultivating those things in your life. You’ve planted the seed with your desire for it. But you water it when you genuinely love its existence anywhere you find it. If you’ll allow me to share my own personal opinion on desire for a moment, I believe that the core desires of your soul were placed there by God. And that he wouldn’t have put them there if he didn’t have the intention of fulfilling them. But he needs you to be fertile soil, not dry with a lack of nutrients because of all the time you’ve spent telling yourself that you don’t have enough. Jealousy is unintelligent because the only way to guarantee something won’t be yours is if you focus on the fact that it’s not. What is something you want in your life? Where have you seen it exist? Who do you know or where have you seen it work or thrive? And spend your last breaths genuinely happy for those who have it and overwhelmingly grateful that it is on its way to you as we speak.
Self pity is emotional cannibalism. It’s like a poison that slowly seeps into everything in your life. Your relationships, your job, your future … it slowly kills your potential. And a slow murder is still a murder. And let me say that sometimes we need to be allowed to mope for a moment. But self pity is different than a healthy moment of disappointment. When you experience self pity there is one thing you can know for sure – that you are living from a mentality of lack and scarcity. You live in a world of abundance, where there is more than enough of everything you could ever want for all of us to have it. That is the truth. So when we feel sorry for ourselves it is statement that we don’t believe we could have what we want, that others have taken all of it, or that we don’t deserve it, that we aren’t worth it. If you really knew that you could have all of your deepest desires, if you really believed that everything that excites you is at your fingertips, then there would be no need for self pity, it would be a pointless emotion. Self pity is a drama queen, she loves to talk about how she’s been jilted, and feeds off the idea that there’s not enough for her. Self pity is the way a child reacts when something is taken from them, because they don’t yet understand that because it is not in their hands it doesn’t mean it’s not theirs. You don’t have to be sitting in your car to know its yours. You don’t have to be in your home right now to feel confident that it is there for you. Now you know, and understand, that whether or not something is yours has nothing to do with whether or not you can see it right now. The same applies emotionally -all that you want exists in abundance and as soon as you believe it is yours, it is. Self pity is emotional cannibalism, so take these last few breaths as you exhale and eliminate any remnants that may be left of lack or scarcity or self sabotage. And inhale abundance. Exhale scarcity. Inhale abundance.
The I Deserve Complex
I’ve worked hard, I deserve that chocolate cake. I’m a good person, I deserve to have a relationship. I do for others all the time, I deserve more time for myself. I’m not saying that you don’t deserve these things. But the mentality of “I deserve” is like oil and water to gratitude. Because gratitude is a form of grace. Grace doesn’t keep score, it doesn’t understand entitlement, it can’t relate to you when you tell it what you deserve. You’re not speaking its language. Forget what you deserve. Here’s the thing: You deserve every good thing that ever existed or is ever to exist. This is already a fact. It goes without being said, you don’t need to remind the universe what you deserve, it has been working toward providing you those things since the moment you were born. Telling it again and again what it already knows is annoying. It’s like walking around telling everyone the sky is blue, we already know. Gratitude says thank you for this, not because I deserve it, but because I am it. You know it when you see a beautiful scene of snow-capped mountains or a sunset. Think of the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. Part of what makes it so beautiful to you is that you recognize yourself in it. When we see a sunset we are inherently reminded that whatever made that made us. You love it because you are a part of it. So gratitude is an experience of ourselves. You can be grateful for love because you are love. You can be grateful for beauty because you are beauty. You can be grateful for companionship because you are companionship. That which you can be grateful for you are. So the more we are grateful for, the more we experience ourselves, the more you get to marinate in the many levels of you. Forget I deserve and remember I am. There can be no should have where there is I have. Take a deep breath and decide to catch yourself talking about what you deserve, hear it for what it is. It’s the language of a habit, a lazy mentality that you will begin breaking right now.
Closing from Roni’s Class:
One day love learned about this thing called visualization, love learned that if you believe in something enough, if you see it in your mind, if it is precious to you, if you believe it must be, not should be, that if you cherish it enough and continue to meditate upon it that you can manifest it. Love learned that manifesting means you can bring something into existence purely through the power of will, that manifesting is the way the universe allows us to co-create with it, to create in ways beyond our own understanding, to bend the fabric of our world and mold it a little bit more everyday until it looks just as we dreamed. Love learned that a dream is a just a reality that likes a chase. Love thought about it, closed its eyes, took a deep breath and began to imagine a beautiful thing, something precious, something that has never existed before or will ever exist again, something that must be, something it believes in …. and all the sudden there it was …. you. You are the manifestation of love. You are what love dreamt about, and saw so with so much clarity that you were flung into existence. Love experiences itself through you.
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer
Gratitude at its heart is an action, not a feeling, it is a verb not a thought. How can you do gratitude this week?
“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” – William James
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
“Gratitude for many is the immediate result of a simple change of perspective. The choice to change your personal definition of something. Is there something you are not being grateful for simply because you decided it wasn’t enough, not because it actually isn’t enough.”
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton
“For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Check out more blogs from Roni’s Power Yoga classes in Tampa.