Written by: Janet Philbin, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
It is easy to be in gratitude for the good things in life, but how about the bad, not so good, or unwanted.
Have you ever had an Ah-Ha moment? Mine was, “I am in gratitude for my trauma.” I was shocked and questioned how it was possible to be grateful for my painful life experiences. I wanted to understand what contributed to my transformation from pain to gratitude.
How do you find gratitude for unwanted life experiences? As I researched gratitude, everything I read was about how to be in gratitude for the good and positive things in life. What about gratitude for the not so good, or as Pema Chodron calls it, “the unwanted,” the bad, the struggles, and pain. Chodron says, “Use all the unwanted things in your life as a means for awakening compassion for yourself and others.” In other words, it’s important to be in gratitude for the unwanted in our lives, the not so good.
I also turned to Osho. In his book, “Buddha,” he talks about the Buddhist principle of Thahata, which means suchness. The attitude of suchness is described as: accept it. It is about accepting what is, as it is when it is. When you don’t fight what is in front of you, there is a shift because when the attitude of suchness is within us, healing can follow.
It would be wonderful if we only had good experiences, but the chances are that is not the case because life is generally full of ups and downs. Can you reflect on the downs, the ones you wish had never happened, the ones when you raised your hands and asked, “Why Me? Haven’t I been through enough already?” Can you find gratitude for those times?
Have you asked yourself these or similar questions?
- Does this serve a purpose?
- Haven’t I already learned this lesson?
- Didn’t I already have enough trauma/drama in my life?
- Didn’t I do my time (so to speak)?
- Why do I have to take on more now?
Sadly, you cannot undo the past. I wonder what happens when you apply the concept of suchness to these questions?