Thankful Thursday: Suffering Optional

Some weeks it’s easy to find the gratitude and other weeks it’s more akin to an archaeological dig. Today falls into the category where khakis and some sort of French Foreign Legion hat would be in order. All the experts remind us that these are the days where our gratitude practices are imperative. It’s where the rubber meet the road.

How do you find traction on your gratitude tires when they only seem to be spinning in the mud and splattering it all over you?

First, I considered day drinking as a way to offset my recent week’s events. While temporarily a great solution I wasn’t sure it had any long-term staying power unless I had a real desire for a 12-step program.

Then I thought that perhaps gratitude is a fool’s errand and I have been chasing wild geese all along and it’s time for it to come to an end.

What else do you do when you can’t take real life anymore except watch some TV hoping that make-believe will make you believe in your actual life once more. Heady stuff, I know! I took a break and watched the penultimate episode of Bones. (I haven’t seen the last episode so don’t tell me.)

Coincidentally, or as fate would have it, the character Angela (also my real name for those new to the blog) shared that no matter what happens things work out. Even when things don’t go the way we want them to we get through it. Clearly, we all know this to be true but I needed a booster shot of this knowing.

When events don’t go our way, often in hindsight, it was the very best thing that could’ve happened. As Gabrielle Bernstein often says, when her plans don’t go the way she intended she knows the universe has something even better waiting for her. That kind of belief not only takes positivity but also non-attachment to the outcome. We can work hard, attend to due diligence and then we have to surrender that all will go as it was meant to.

We must surrender to what is or that’s when the suffering begins. Bad things are going to happen to us, life situations are going to go sideways. “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional,” as the saying goes.

Today, I will be thankful in the knowing that life is going as it is intended and there are lessons to be learned and teachings to be received. And, hopefully, if I am really mindful I will remember that pain doesn’t always need to be holding hands with suffering as it walks in the door.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,

Lowi & G

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