Beyond right and wrong, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
Another way to break you addiction to negative or fearful emotions is to be grateful – for everything that happens.
I once read that if two Saudis run their cars into one another, they’ll get out and hug each other. Why? Because to them, it was God’s will. Allah wanted them to meet. If this was the way he wanted to make it happen, who were they to question it?
How much different is that attitude than here. Two people run into one another, and out come the insurance cards, and … what was the name of that personal injury attorney on television?
I’m not bashing attorneys, and I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get the other persons insurance information. That’s not what I’m suggesting. I am saying is that it’s our “you vs. me” attitude that gets us into trouble. And I’m not limiting it to car accidents, but personal and professional relationships as well.
Did you know that in cultures where there is no concept of “good and evil,” that there aren’t any competitive sports as well? There are games played, but instead of winning and losing, the idea is bonding with one another instead.
This is going to be really hard to take if you’re into the idea of victim and victor. There are no victims. There are only volunteers.
This is what Jesus was referring to when he talked about offering someone your left cheek after they’ve slapped you on the right. If someone slapped you on the right cheek, they did so with the back of their hand, which was an insult, in the culture he lived in. However, a gentle slap on the left cheek was a gesture of love.
In other words, allow something good to come out what a bad situation. There’s a lesson to be learned from everything that happens to us.
So, what does any of this have to do with being grateful? Well, what I’m suggesting is that rather than going with your knee jerk reaction to what’s happening to you, try a different reaction instead. What if what’s going on is a messenger in disguise? Can you be grateful long enough to receive the message?
Several years ago, there was a young man who was dancing on my last nerve, and he knew it. Not only did he know it, he was enjoying it. I looked at him, and he looked back at me with a, “What are you going to do about it?” look on his face.
I finally said, “I’m going to sit here and not say anything until I can find something to be grateful to you for.” I sat there wondering what negative aspect of my Self was he reflecting back to me. I was really angry and self-righteous at the time. That’s the way he was acting. He was showing me what a fool I could be. I thanked him for showing that to me.
After I said this to him, he looked at me, stunned, and finally said,”I’m sorry I was being such a jerk to you.”
Now, I don’t want to give you the impression, even for a moment, that I didn’t want to punch him in the nose. I did. But that was the emotion I was addicted to. That’s what he was showing me. I could have chosen to keep it, or retire it. I chose to retire it. I’m much better for having done so.
Afterwards we formed a friendship that lasted for five years before we parted ways. During that time, I can tell you I grew a great deal more because of our friendship.
My favorite line in “The Course in Miracles” is, “Would you rather be right, or would you rather be at peace?” Most people would say, “I’d rather be at peace, of course.” What they’re really saying is, “I’ll be at peace when that asshole admits I’m right.”
Do you really want to be at peace? Then be grateful, for everything.
Today, and every day from here on out, find five things to be grateful for. Five things that cause you to say, out loud, “Thank you.”
I have an idea, why don’t you start with those you love? Say thank you to them. When they look surprised at you and ask, “What are you thanking me for?” say, “For everything.”
By the way, I just wanted to tell you, “Thank you. For everything.”