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What are you Grateful for?

I was having a conversation with a friend who expressed how grateful he was to this mutual friend we have; how she had thrown a life line to him when he was at his downiest, and thereby felt he owed it to her, leading him to do something that did not resonate with his heart upon her offer. Of course, at that point when he agreed, he wasn’t fully aware that what was offered to him did not resonate until much later. All he thought at that moment when she called was that it was a chance for him to ‘repay’ her kindness. And yet, that guilt ‘tortured’ him within the doldrums of his mind, of whether he ought to proceed to do what was offered to him, or not; when he did not feel inspired. I know how that feels, I have been there.

The thing is this. Our lessons or entitlement are always unfolded through stories, and we need casts and a plot to open us up for our learning. Many a times, after we ‘survived’ our most crucial moments, we are left with heartfelt gratitude and appreciation towards a person, or some persons if you will for uplifting us; and it’d be so because of that, in times of their needs or requests, we’d feel compelled to accommodate them, even when it is very much, not what our hearts say so. But why do we do it? “Oh, she has helped me so much, I need to repay her”; “oh, I am so grateful for without her support then, I wouldn’t have made it”… whilst these stand true in one way or another, let’s look at the real mechanics of it.

Many a times, we are caught by having to listen to, or comply with others’ request because we feel that it would redeem ourselves of receiving from those of whom we are grateful to. We fail to see that whatever we receive is our own privilege and seriously, if what is given is not received, what is the point then of an exchange?

It is the same as giving someone a gift; if I was giving a gift because I wanted the person to say thank you to me, I am so relying on another to give me an appreciation, which can only be translated to as a form of self betrayal. And if I am receiving, thinking that I have to give back fifty, so to make it worth the while of what I have received, then what is the point of having?

I remember sending a gratitude message to my teacher last year and asked if I could do anything to complete the cycle of ‘giving and receiving’. I was so grateful to his teachings, you see. My wise teacher replied,

There is no reason to reciprocate as what you receive is your entitlement. And even if you are the receiver and yet you get nothing out from it, what is the point of having? Thus what you receive and understood is all your doing. You can give out of gratefulness but not because you want to complete the cycle of your receiving. Rejoicing is already giving. Expressing thanks is also giving.

And I would add to this, give out of gratefulness, to which resonates with our heart – at our own pace, at our own will – not by overextending ourselves.

Let’s give thanks for the experience instead, and recognize that whatever we receive is because we are willing to be given to, and that no repayment is required. If the need to reciprocate arises then let it be from the space of love, of inner authority, so true to our own space that not even a word of ‘thank you’ is required.

It is because we keep focusing on the form, on the body or rather the person out there, failing to see what is true in our own space that time and time again, we are off balance of our own footing. But can we now begin to see that, being balanced on our own footing and staying true to ourselves is really the best gift we can give to anyone at all! For when we tell others that we are willing to honor ourselves, we are too telling others they are free from us – that there is no need to live for us, whether in a minute way or not. The bondage then becomes released.

Having said that, I am not meaning to say that we don’t appreciate the people who present these gifts to us, whether it is in a form of a teaching, an experience, a helping hand, a gift and etc. All I am saying is – really, a simple ‘thank you’ will do, and to fully appreciate and honor another, is to fully appreciate and honor ourselves. There is no way around it, and it cannot be otherwise. If the person doesn’t see it yet, it is only because the person has not realized it, and it is ok too, because we are no longer seeking approval or love from anyone else, or having to give anyone else anything that we are not inspired to! We are already Love, and are already approving of ourselves; what greater gifts could you give to another, except that?

6 Responses to “What are you Grateful for?”

  1. My intention sealed my own outcome, irrespective what the world offers in return. In other words, my end is my beginning. If my intention of giving is for the sake of a return, my outcome will be expected – returns. My intention here is clearly not of giving, but returns, except using giving as a means to arrive at my intention. ‘Giving’ is used as a scapegoat. There is no giving at all in the very first place. It is the wolf camouflage in the sheep skin. Accurately speaking, giving has never been in the picture at all. If each moment determines the next, how can the first moment of intention, which is ‘return’, changes its direction and become otherwise? How can the quarter middle, middle or second quarter middle, or even at the very last moment have ‘giving’ as its pathway? Impossible.

    To allow giving to set in, which is an intention itself, the intention of return has to die, has to end. Both cannot coexist at the same time. A pathway can only change where there is an end to its beginning, with another new beginning taking over its course. True change can only be made possible through wisdom, else the course is doomed with its end similar to how it begins. And this applies to everything in the world, for intention, or mind, is the forerunner of all things.

    No wisdom, no talk, as the world goes on with its end result predictable to its beginning. The play is between ignorance and wisdom. A wise intention changes the course, otherwise the impostor comes into play – as what the root word ‘ignorance’ meant – to ignore what is true – that it is the wolf in the sheep skin.

    So the mind has much impostors in it, copying what is genuine into imitations. ‘Return’ made into ‘giving’. ‘Taking’ made into ‘receiving’. All imitations have self-interest invested in it. With the maxim, give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, then return will have taking as its end and giving will have receiving as its end.

    In other words, giving is in truth, receiving, as both end and beginning are similar. Similarly, with an intention of receiving, giving has its end as a result. Hence, when I truly give something, I am bestowed with the gift of reception – that the other end completes its cycle. If there is an expectation of return, I am in truth playing the game of taking, not giving, for each meaning of return has taking as its beginning.

    As such I need not await what is bestowed to me from the world, as I have already bestowed myself the moment I set my intention. What I expect from the world is my own ignorant, a lie I unconsciously put upon myself. Only wisdom allows me to see this. Or else the world is always seen as defending and attacking me – an imagination I concocted from my own delusion.

    With return as my intention, I am done. With giving as my intention I am done too. Both have different end as its result. To say thankyou is redundant after the act, except as an expression of appreciation, and not of gratitude. To have gratitude is to see that there is something out there for me or to me, which is delusion at play. Everything is of me. If receiving is my game, giving is my end – I give myself the gift of allowing things arising from me – not that someone is giving me. ‘Someone’ or ‘something’ that comes my way is only a manifestation of my intention. That is the true meaning of the law of attraction. I am entitled to what I intent. I am my own entitlement.

  2. mun says:

    It would be nice if all givers think like this in the ideal world. But in the real world, there are people who give with the expectation that the receivers owe them a favour which they can call on anytime. If the receivers refuse to repay the givers when called upon in the future, the receivers will be bestowed with the title “an ungrateful person” or be told that the receivers are “seperti kacang lupakan kulit”. But thanks to available help and support for the receivers, the receivers no longer need to feel obliged or guilty for the truth is that the receivers owe the givers nothing as no one forced the givers to give in the first place if they are not willing to. So thank you for lifting the guilt off all receivers who do not want to repay the givers.

  3. GG says:

    Hi Mun, this is the thing. It doesn’t matter what the givers’ intention are. The most important is to take care of our own mental state. Again, it also doesn’t matter what labels others put on us. Even if the labels hurt, all we need to do is inquire within ourselves why it hurts, and determine what is more true to us in our own space.

    Also, I am not to say ‘don’t repay’, for that is not within my space to comment or dictate. My only take is to appreciate for what comes into our space, and not mistake it as because I receive, I must give; or when I give, I must receive. Ultimately, it boils down to your own truth, if you feel like giving, you give; if you feel otherwise, you are not answerable to anyone, except yourself.

    May whatever that you give, or receive, be from the space of love, and truth. 🙂

  4. mun says:

    Thanks Gerry for further giving me your insight into this! 🙂

  5. Joon Howe says:

    We will never know ones true intention when they give. Strangely enough, they themself may not know their true intention too. But here is the thing: if I give because I feel good after giving and I like the good feeling, is that not expecting something in return? Seeking the feel good feeling. If the other person is not appreciative, would we continue giving?

    • GG says:

      It is a fact that most are unaware of their own intentions of giving, that is why self-awareness and mindfulness is so important. We break free from old ideas or rather from becoming a puppet to the mind and can consciously choose once again, whether or not we are giving from the space of fear or from the space of love. Giving has nothing to do with another appreciating what we give. If we feel good giving, and that is what we seek, then it is the giving that gives us joy, not whether the other appreciates it or not. If the other is not appreciative of what we give, what has that got to do with my wanting to give? It is entirely irrelevant. It is unless, I am giving so to seek to be appreciated, to be approved of, that my giving is fraud even when I think giving gives me joy – as that kind of giving is just a cover up for another intention not investigated, not observed.

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