It occurred to me that forgiveness and gratitude go hand in hand. You really can't have one without the other. How is it possible for me to appreciatively scan my human landscape if within myself I still seethe with resentment, unresolved issues and grudges?
If my meanness is messing with my meaningfulness, is not my gaze distorted and is it not more challenging for me to give a hearty thank you for everyone and everything I presently Am experiencing?
Many, many years ago, I loaned a very dear friend quite a sizable sum of money. The understanding, although loosely agreed upon, was that when convenient some time in the future, the loan would be repaid. I never heard anything further from that friend, not even with what became my repetitive insistence by mail and phone calls that my money be returned. It never happened and for a long time, whenever anyone would ask me, "What ever happened with you and _______?" I would respond with obvious and overt anger and righteous indignation. I always made a point, as I reflect on it all now, of enlisting the support of my inquirers to my side of the issue. I was "done wrong" and poor, little me! Finally, another more enlightened approach entered my realm, when one of my spiritual mentors simply said, "When you're ready to let yourself off the hook emotionally, you'll let your friend off the hook financially. Are you willing to practice the fine art of forgiveness in your own mind and heart, and to convert that foe to a friend?" For the next few weeks I worked with this wise one and through honest self-inquiry, meditation and a conscious shift in my own perception, coupled with a clearer look at the bigger picture, I experienced the freedom of release through setting myself and the other completely free. I subsequently was also able to let the party know, all was forgiven and forgotten and to send them on their way with my personal and honest blessings. A debilitating long held inner debt that I was holding kept me from experiencing the fuller measure of creative joy and fulfillment which I ultimately welcomed into my life.
So this month is not about being phony and pretentious about the ways in which we dutifully offer up our thanksgiving. It is about the authenticity with which we make amends to ourselves and others for misperceptions and distortions that originate from a lesser sense of ourselves. Instead we can now see through new eyes the greater possibility of the life that the Infinite is forever revealing when we are willing to claim it for our very own.
Rev. Dr. Sue Rubin, November 2010, http://www.truthtidbits.com