I believe that gratitude begins with story.
I also believe that story begins with connection. That connection begins with experiences. For instance, I experience myself. I experience others. I experience something going on around me that involves other beings. These things that happen makes me smile, laugh, cry, shout, scream. Then I experience something warm inside that makes me want more of those things that make me smile, laugh, cry, shout, scream. I feel that can only be described as appreciation, thankfulness, gratitude for each and every experience that has caused me to feel such a range of emotions.
Our Invisible Connection
Each experience is a story. A story I can retell and conjure up the same feeling I did as it happened. Carl Jung has written that, “the collective unconscious contains the whole spiritual heritage of mankind’s evolution, born anew in the brain structure of every individual.” I believe it is that collective unconscious that allows us to connect, to become aware, to have shared experiences, to create stories and to feel a deep sense of gratitude. To take this one step further, I believe that story is a form that encompasses all that exists under the celestial sky and brings light to the idea that we are all connected beneath an umbrella of unconsciousness. And, that unconsciousness requires a voice, a venue of expression, hence the importance of story.
Passing It On
This invisible shared human experience is itself cause for gratitude. Our shared human experiences are told in the form of cultural and spiritual rituals which are story patterns passed down from generation to generation. Our experiences are also told through painting, dance, song, theater. The arts hold the eternal space for story. Artists, or those individuals who actively, consciously seek a deeper understanding of our relationship with this unseen connectivity, brings that understanding to others. The artist refines the ability to communicate with humanity on a grand scale, uniting us more intimately with the universal force.
Gratitude Has A Pattern
Rituals that are handed down and repeated are actually patterns in the collective unconscious. They are like messengers with the power to teach and heal. They are stories that are necessary to the well-being of humanity. Like these stories that come to us from the past as repeated patterns, gratitude also has a pattern that is propelled forward continuously seeking outlets for expression. The result of gratitude expressed is healing. Can you feel the pattern of gratitude looking to express itself in your life? Can you recognize the patterns that give rise to that sense of gratitude?
I find it helpful and healing to recall moments when I have experienced deep gratitude. And as I continue to grow, I find it effortless to feel gratitude for everything in creation. Even those experiences that some might label ‘bad.’ Ultimately, everything that happens gives rise to something else, a pattern that must be expressed. I love consciously contributing to the passing on of the gratitude pattern.
May you and yours become more deeply aware of the gift of gratitude and share the pattern in your own unique way with all you meet through the course of your days.