Love and Gratitude
Love is the way I walk in gratitude.
1. Gratitude is a lesson hard to learn for those who look upon the world amiss. ²The most that they can do is see themselves as better off than others. ³And they try to be content because another seems to suffer more than they. ⁴How pitiful and deprecating are such thoughts! ⁵For who has cause for thanks while others have less cause? ⁶And who could suffer less because he sees another suffer more? ⁷Your gratitude is due to Him alone Who made all cause of sorrow disappear throughout the world.
I know that I used to think like this. I would be grateful when I got a sale and too bad for my competitor who lost. I would be relieved if someone else got into trouble and I came out ok. I would hear a siren and check on my kids with no concern for anyone else’s. This is because I really did think that we were all separate and what happened to another had nothing to do with me. I was interested in waking up as if I could be free when my brothers were bound. Now I know that these ideas were just ego thoughts and not true. As Jesus says, my gratitude now is directed toward He Who made all cause of sorrow disappear throughout the world.
2. It is insane to offer thanks because of suffering. ²But it is equally insane to fail in gratitude to One Who offers you the certain means whereby all pain is healed, and suffering replaced with laughter and with happiness. ³Nor could the even partly sane refuse to take the steps which He directs, and follow in the way He sets before them, to escape a prison that they thought contained no door to the deliverance they now perceive.
I almost missed the meaning of that first sentence. Who would offer thanks because of suffering? But then I thought back to my days as a Catholic. We were taught as children that it was an honor to suffer for God. We would suffer now and get our reward when we died. As a child in Catholic school, I longed for the chance to be a martyr and receive God’s love for my sacrifice. It was such a relief as an adult to discover that God does not want my sacrifice.
I am so very grateful for A Course in Miracles with its simple easy to understand steps toward awakening. I have learned that I am not guilty for my thoughts and that if I will look at them with the Holy Spirit, they will be corrected for me. I am grateful to learn that we are already saved and that our job is to accept our salvation. I am grateful to learn that there is no world and no bodies and that we are one with each other and with God.
3. Your brother is your “enemy” because you see in him the rival for your peace; a plunderer who takes his joy from you, and leaves you nothing but a black despair so bitter and relentless that there is no hope remaining. ²Now is vengeance all there is to wish for. ³Now can you but try to bring him down to lie in death with you, as useless as yourself; as little left within his grasping fingers as in yours.
When I was just dating the man who would become my last husband, I discovered that he was also dating someone else. She was my rival and I was not a peace when I thought about her. I thought I needed to marry this man and so I needed him to date only me. I felt like a winner when that happened and I had no thought as to how she must feel.
I remember when my kids were young, I would be with other mothers and we would try to up each other as to who’s kid was smarter or better behaved. If that wasn’t possible, we would vie for who’s kid was the most trouble. LOL. We didn’t care so much which way it went, just who won. It was pretty much the same when it came to our husbands. I think of it now and I don’t understand how I could have been so blind.
4. You do not offer God your gratitude because your brother is more slave than you, nor could you sanely be enraged if he seems freer. ²Love makes no comparisons. ³And gratitude can only be sincere if it be joined to love. ⁴We offer thanks to God our Father that in us all things will find their freedom. ⁵It will never be that some are loosed while others still are bound. ⁶For who can bargain in the name of love?
5. Therefore give thanks, but in sincerity. ²And let your gratitude make room for all who will escape with you; the sick, the weak, the needy and afraid, and those who mourn a seeming loss or feel apparent pain, who suffer cold or hunger, or who walk the way of hatred and the path of death. ³All these go with you. ⁴Let us not compare ourselves with them, for thus we split them off from our awareness of the unity we share with them, as they must share with us.
Gratitude and love are the same thing, each aspects of God. I could never experience true gratitude in such unloving ways as I did in the past. I have learned to recognize love and to be grateful for it and I know that love is not love if it is not shared. I cannot be free if others are bound. Your happiness and freedom are as important to me as is mine.
6. We thank our Father for one thing alone; that we are separate from no living thing, and therefore one with Him. ²And we rejoice that no exceptions ever can be made which would reduce our wholeness, nor impair or change our function to complete the One Who is Himself completion. ³We give thanks for every living thing, for otherwise we offer thanks for nothing, and we fail to recognize the gifts of God to us.
7. Then let our brothers lean their tired heads against our shoulders as they rest a while. ²We offer thanks for them. ³For if we can direct them to the peace that we would find, the way is opening at last to us. ⁴An ancient door is swinging free again; a long forgotten Word re-echoes in our memory, and gathers clarity as we are willing once again to hear.
I am grateful for all life, for each of my brothers because they are part of the Sonship and we are therefore one. I am not complete without them. We, together, complete the Father. As Jesus often does, he brings our attention to the fact that what we do for anyone, we do for ourselves. As I bless my brother, I am blessed. As I show them the way, I enter with them. We go Home together.
8. Walk, then, in gratitude the way of love. ²For hatred is forgotten when we lay comparisons aside. ³What more remains as obstacles to peace? ⁴The fear of God is now undone at last, and we forgive without comparing. ⁵Thus we cannot choose to overlook some things, and yet retain some other things still locked away as “sins.” ⁶When your forgiveness is complete you will have total gratitude, for you will see that everything has earned the right to love by being loving, even as your Self.
9. Today we learn to think of gratitude in place of anger, malice and revenge. ²We have been given everything. ³If we refuse to recognize it, we are not entitled therefore to our bitterness, and to a self-perception which regards us in a place of merciless pursuit, where we are badgered ceaselessly, and pushed about without a thought or care for us or for our future. ⁴Gratitude becomes the single thought we substitute for these insane perceptions. ⁵God has cared for us, and calls us Son. ⁶Can there be more than this?
These paragraphs remind me that we are each one of us part of the Sonship and therefore deserving of love and gratitude. We cannot leave anyone outside the circle of Love and still know God. We have nothing to feel sorry for and nothing to complain about. We are all given all but if we choose to not see it, we will feel lack and loss and want to blame others or even God for what we did to ourselves. Instead, let us be grateful. Let our gratitude substitute for our insane perceptions. ⁵God has cared for us, and calls us Son. ⁶Can there be more than this?
10. Our gratitude will pave the way to Him, and shorten our learning time by more than you could ever dream of. ²Gratitude goes hand in hand with love, and where one is the other must be found. ³For gratitude is but an aspect of the Love which is the Source of all creation. ⁴God gives thanks to you, His Son, for being what you are; His Own completion and the Source of love, along with Him. ⁵Your gratitude to Him is one with His to you. ⁶For love can walk no road except the way of gratitude, and thus we go who walk the way to God.
God loves us and is grateful for us. We love Him and are grateful to Him. May this loving gratitude extend throughout the Sonship. May this begin with me.