I've been thinking a lot lately about a very deep and very wise admonition A Course In Miracles gives to "Avoid the temptation to perceive yourself as unfairly treated."
This is a big one for me because given the opportunity, I could easily dwell in feeling sorry for myself. But the minute I do, I have just set into motion opportunities for circumstances to enter my life that help me feel like a victim. I've opened the door for those types of possibilities to be let in. Remember, we create what we focus on, wanted or unwanted. We live in a compliant universe. It always agrees with what we think and gives us more of that - I'm stupid. Yes you are. I'm happy. Yes you are. I'm rich, pretty, successful, attractive; whatever it may be the universe is quick to provide agreement and give of us evidence that our thoughts are right.
It is increasingly easy in today's world to perceive ourselves as unfairly treated, as victims of circumstances, when things like the economy seem to upset our apple cart. It becomes easy to point to a specific person or thing and deem them responsible for our unhappiness. It is clearly outside of ourselves, right? When we perceive the world this way we slide into the vicious cycle of blame, anger and separation. It keeps the position of victim strong and we all know what that attracts - more circumstances that allow us to feel sorry for ourselves. That is not a happy life. None of it serves our lives. We are first cause of everything - plain and simple.
No one seems to be going through these times unscathed. People everywhere are being pressured to let go of patterns and give up thoughts that have not served them. Like the rock that endures tremendous heat and pressure, we are given the opportunity to become diamonds. But it requires us to let go of the patterns of our past. We must wake up and become conscious of the thoughts we keep on thinking that keep sustaining the life that we keep on getting. Dr. Ernest Holmes said it best, "We create with monotonous regularity the patterns of our past." ...Until we seek to change our minds.
Along with these difficult times we are being given tremendous opportunity for change. Old ways of being are dying and giving birth to new beginnings. We are being asked to give up patterns and thoughts that have held us back so we can have everything we've ever dreamed of. It easy for us to be convinced that things are bad. It's time to make the switch and be convinced of how good things can be. As Marianne Williamson would say, "Ask for what wonderful looks like." Let's not hold on to being "sufferers" who perceive ourselves as unfairly treated. Let's take responsibility for what we create in our lives so that we can create anew.
How best do we begin to shed this old skin? Awareness is the first step. Once you become conscious of your patterns you automatically begin to diffuse them. Also, there is nothing more potent or positively attractive than gratitude and appreciation. It is fitting in this time we set aside for Thanksgiving that I ask you to become an avid appreciator. Begin to notice everything that is good in your life and everything that is going right. There is so much. Instead of looking in the mirror and seeing flaws, notice the perfection there is to behold. When I would look at a photograph of myself that I didn't like, my wise Italian mother would say to me, "You're going to love it in 10 years!" She was right. But let's not wait. Let's love and appreciate ourselves now and be grateful for the wonderful lives we have been given. Remember, we get what we focus on, whether wanted or unwanted. Let's focus on wonderful this week.
Finally, take a look at my friend Jacob's Daily Pages post. His 30 day suggestion is exactly what's called for here. I strongly suggest you try it for the next 30 days - I am going to. Let's take this journey together and watch wonderful unfold in ways we've never dreamed of.
I leave you this week, with a quote from Meister Eckhart who said, "If the only prayer you say in your life is thank you, that would be enough.”