Gratitude for All Blessings

November has become the month of gratitude; we see Facebook status updates changing daily with posts on gratitude. But often, people only look at one type of event in their lives with gratitude – the events that they liked!  When events in your life occur that you didn’t want, that you didn’t like, or that you believe shouldn’t have happened – it’s often hard to have gratitude for them.  In some ways these events brought you pain, sorrow, unhappiness, anger, or hurt. Why should you be grateful for those events?  Many would argue that not only should they not be grateful but they should be downright angry the events occurred.  This is a victim mentality that comes from a space of fear and resentment.  All events in your life are for you – yes, even the ones you didn’t like and didn’t want. And yes, even the ones that were painful.  Even if you couldn’t see it when the event occurred, and even if you can’t see it now – chances are, the event offered you some sort of growth. That is a blessing.  All events in life are a part of your journey; they helped shape you.  How they shaped you is a result of what you believed about the event.  When you look at all events in life from the standpoint that they are all blessings then you are shaped in a much different way than if you see yourself victimized by life. You are no victim. Life is always for you and playing the victim limits you and keeps you from expressing as the beautiful spirit that you are.

Instead of just expressing gratitude this month for the things in life that you like I challenge you to also find gratitude for the things in life you don’t like.  A blessing altar will allow you to honor both the events that you wanted in your life – the events that you liked and have obvious gratitude for, but also the events that were perhaps painful and unwanted.  Both offered you blessings. By having gratitude for all the events in your life you can truly live in peace and acceptance of any moment.

This is a picture of my blessing altar. Yours can look similar or completely different; that choice is yours.  I will be adding my blessings to the branches on my altar (these additions will carry forward to my Yule tree) and will be journaling about the events and people in my life that were blessings. You may choose to also add to your altar, to journal, or to simply speak your blessing out loud. Whatever your process, a blessing altar can be a powerful way to shift into a space of forgiveness and acceptance that you can take forward into the reflective time of Yuletide and Solstice night.

Blessings Altar Main

Morning Minutes

Walking in public we wonder what others see

How we appear

If we measure up…

Unless we just do not care

But…we do…

For we lie to ourselves over and over when we

Look in the mirror

Fretting over make up or wrinkles

Stomach pudge and thinning hair

Sagging breasts or dimpled thighs

Judging ourselves part by part in those few morning minutes

before we rush out to start our days in the sheep herd…

Unless…

We instead look in the mirror

Say I love you instead of I hate you

And be firm in our imperfect perfection

As we smile wider to make the wrinkles more pronounced

Slide our hands along our lush thighs and love what we feel

Celebrate the grace of our softness

Noticing that our hair doesn’t change our faces

And our faces don’t change our hearts

And that our breasts are stunning curves of wonder

Unless…

We walk out into the world and block the judges

Seeing them as amazing humans

Letting our own humanity shine forward

Say “I don’t believe you” with a smile

To anyone who dares push their judgment on us

That we are anything less than

A remarkable piece of a beautiful cosmic puzzle

That IS and always has been…and always will be

Flawless with its dignified flaws

A concept that so many don’t understand

But can … if instead those morning minutes were

Filled with love instead of contempt

For when we truly love ourselves…we truly love ourselves

The thoughts of the judges won’t matter

because we are our first and only true judges

We are the ones who look with eyes of disdain

We are the ones who look in the mirror…

We are the ones who break our own hearts

(c) M. Gatlin/Gatlianne 2012