Gratitude

Sharon Gorman’s Monday Morning Message

I end each day by writing a gratitude list. I simply write down 5 things that I am grateful about from this day. Some of the things on my list are huge like that I am grateful for my relationship with my children and some of the things might seem trivial to most like that I am grateful that a particular patient referred a friend. For the most part I consider myself a grateful person yet by taking the time to put these thoughts in my mind before I go to sleep I am programming myself to create more things in my life that I am grateful for. Even on the days that don’t go the way I wanted them to go I find 5 things to be grateful for and sometimes I can put my day in perspective in the context of my life.

Another positive side effect of making this list every night is that I have become less dependent on other people to tell me I am doing a good job in life or that I should be grateful in my life because I have learned to acknowledge myself. This is a very powerful side effect. I don’t need to seek out people that will give me lots of outside approval. I don’t need to be stroked as much from other people many of which have their own motives in stroking me. I have come to trust my own inner voice, my innate. Me and God can become a majority. I can become more dependent on my relationship with God to guide me through my life and trust that I am safe walking with God. I don’t have to control my life anymore. I can lighten my load as I turn my burdens over to God. When I feel the unconditional love of God I can get to work. I can do what I feel is the next right thing and not have to ask for others opinions to guide my life. I am not near as needy in my relationship with other people. I am not in relationship with people so that I can try to fill that hole inside of me. I am in relationship with people so that I can share the abundance of love that fills my heart. I can love people unconditionally as the love that I feel from God is unconditional. I don’t have to guard myself from other people out of fear of them hurting me. No one can hurt me unless I give them permission to and the stronger I feel spiritually the less armor I feel it necessary to wear and the more open I can stay to give and receive love.

It’s easy to fall into that people pleasing trap when we aren’t connected with our source. Part of that comes from our desire to be accepted. That strong desire to be accepted comes from our low self esteem. We need to be accepted by the right person or group of people in our attempt to prove to the world that we fit in or that we are worthy. A prime example of this is teenagers. They see themselves in a better light if they are cool and fit in. Who are they trying to impress. The people that impress them. Us parents try to instill in them the confidence to do what they know is right and not just follow the crowd. If their relationship with God is strong they don’t feel the void. They are not as much in search for things outside of themselves to make them feel better. They are less likely to get involved with alcohol, drugs or gangs. They feel better about themselves. We are just big them. It’s time for me to grow up as I see that life is too short to waste any more time doing things that I know don’t work. It takes a lot of discipline to pray, meditate and do the things for me that keep me in constant contact with God. It takes discipline to write my grateful list every night because some nights I just don’t feel grateful. I once heard it said that you can either have a strong spiritual program and an easier life or an easier spiritual program and a harder life.

In this season of love and light please remember it is not about things, it is about people. Give yourself the gift of being gentle with yourself.

Love you and appreciate you,
Sharon

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