Life sometimes seems like a turbulent river threatening to drown us and destroy the world. Why, then, shouldn’t we cling to the certainty of the shore….to our familiar patterns and habits?
As I contemplate the question of risk-taking today, I realize that I have suffered no major losses in my life for at least several years. I still have the same home, the same possessions. My children are all well. Although my husband could be better, he is still vital and happy. My parents are still living. I have not lost a single friend since I can remember…yet if I thought about how much all this means to me, I could live in terror at the very thought of losing any part of it. I simply refuse to live in fear.
Even though all of these familiar patterns, people and possessions that have rocked my world for so long remain steadfast in my life, I have to ask myself, “Am I in danger if anything happens to overturn what iI have?”…and the answer is: No.
Fear-based clinging prevents us from the satisfying experience of being fully alive. Therefore, I am prepared to let go of anything about my life that I have no control over…and if whomever or whatever it is decides to stick around, well…good. I’m happy.
Being willing to let go of things that are not in my control prepares me for their loss. Of course, I would be upset if I lost a family member…if I lost a friend….but I will not live my life in fear of this happening. I refuse to live that way. I am a much happier person because of it.
Being fully present in my own life, and not being dictated by fear, is what keeps me fully awake and alive. Living in the moment and being grateful for every person that I love, every possession that I own and every moment that I have, allows me to appreciate these people, places and things while I have them, rather than clinging to the fear that I will lose them. In other words, allowing fear to overtake one’s life is the same as allowing fear to be in control.
Gratitude. That is the key.
John Milton once wrote, ” Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever, how we experience life and the world.”
When I rise each morning, I vow to cherish what I do have and enjoy them all while I have them. I meditate and awaken the gratitude within me, and I cherish what I have in that moment, rather than waste my energy fearing that I will lose whatever or whomever applies.
Gratitude for what we have in the here and now, opens the door to personal power. It opens the door to wisdom and to the creativity of the universe. If you find yourself hitting your head against a brick wall over some issue that you want or feel you need to control, try simply letting go.
The door can easily be opened with gratitude.
I am even grateful for those obstacles that have presented themselves along the way, as these things have made me even stronger and more resolute to continue my life’s journey. I view the world through grateful eyes. Since I have enlisted in this practice, the whole world has changed before me and I see things a completely different way…so if things do change, I will embrace the change and move ever forward, being grateful still.