In fourth grade, I got my first pair of glasses, after six months of declining grades due to the fact that I could no longer make out the increasingly vague chalk marks on the classroom blackboard.
I was provided with what might possibly have been the ugliest pair of glasses available to a pre-teen girl in that era: chunky, black ovals that made my eyes look like I was wearing a bug costume, and I marched into my classroom accompanied by taunts of “four eyes” and “glasses face.”
But I didn’t care.
Because from the moment I donned those glasses, atrocious as they were, I could see. Suddenly, everything that had been dark and drab and fuzzy around the edges burst into clarity, light and color. And with that gift of vision, everything changed. No more poor grades due to not being able to see the blackboard. No more being pounded in sports because I couldn’t see the ball…. In my young life, and perhaps in the trajectory of my entire life, those thick, Coke-bottle lenses were a miracle.
Learning to see with the lens of gratitude is sort of like those glasses. One minute we’re flailing around in the dark, perceiving our life as sort of a shadowy, chaotic confusion. The next minute, we’re blasted into a state of higher consciousness, and we can see—we understand, we perceive, we finally get that our lives are so wonderful, so incredible, so big and huge and overwhelmingly awesome, that we almost can’t take it in.
Gratitude is the lens that shifts everything.
Now, it’s sometimes said that gratitude is an attitude, or a choice—that we can get there with positive thoughts and positive affirmations.
I’m not so sure about that.
To me, it seems that gratitude is something we grow into, either slowly or quickly, as part of our process of soul growth. It’s a waking up, of sorts, from the long deep slumber of being unconscious. Often, gratitude arrives to us out of sudden terrible experiences: illness, crisis, loss, or even a near death experience may serve to crack open our hearts and bring the clarity of gratitude in. Or, gratitude may come to us more slowly, after decades or even a lifetime of things not quite working out: poor relationships, boring jobs, difficult emotions, until one day we simply wake up to the fact that we do not have to live this way.
Regardless of how it happens for you, one thing is clear: the moment that you wake up, and discover yourself as Divine being in earth body, spiritual person in earth container, everything changes. When we view life from the consciousness of gratitude, all of our experience—the good, the bad the all of it—becomes phenomenally, beautifully clear.
And the best thing? Once we really wake up and shift to this new level of consciousness, this miraculous view will never go away.
Our thanks to Sara for her guest post! For more from Sara Wiseman, read her article “Re-Imagining the Holidays: 6 Ways to Resist Overabundance and Create Gratitude.”