Be grateful not to the form, but for the experience that comes through the form. Although gratitude to someone is perceived as something beautiful but this can come from the space of guilt as it is merely a form of conclusion that we are incapable of such experience thus the dependency on others which translates to our inadequacy to experience without the other. But let’s take a look at what is more real, if we are truly the experiencer of the experience, would it not be true that the experience is arising in us thus confirming that we are more than capable of experiencing the experience that seems to be coming through from the other?
Gratitude towards another comes with the guilt of having to repay another rather than seeing it as our entitlement. And this guilt is the one that propels us to keep us hanging on to another until the deed of repaying is complete.
Being grateful is also confirming that we are undeserving at base, that through experience of another’s action, it is like a reward. Let’s take a deeper meaning of reward – where there is reward, there must be something to be done in order to deserve it hence either we have done a deal and rewarded, or being rewarded before hand from the space of being undeserving arises the need to reciprocate as in to repay with gratitude.
Being grateful to the experience itself, there is a natural letting go of another or thing from whom an experience is being shared with be it a person or a handbag. In that space, there is freedom within self and also for the other as there is no form of stickiness, attachment or reliance on either part as the experience itself has ended right at that moment thus allowing new moments of experiences to arise. It is the essence of the experience experienced cherished and never the form.
I remember I was sharing with a teacher once how grateful I was to him and another teacher in my life some time ago. He asked me very profoundly, “why do you not recognise that it was your inner love for yourself that has attracted us into your space?” I realised then that the two teachers guiding and supporting my journey were merely my gifts to myself; for if I had not been willing, I would not have been able to receive the teachings they were imparting to me. Constantly, I recognised gratitude – gratitude to them for the role they play in my life but more true, gratitude towards my own ability to receive and thus, have I given myself.
Not that there is no gratitude for another, as gratitude arising is simply a natural process. However, directing gratitude to the other and forgetting self is as good as confirming smallness and inadequacy within. Gratitude works both ways, not from me to the other or the other to me but me and the other. Having said that though, if smallness and inadequacy is real to me, I cannot just sweep it under the carpet but to invite myself into the space of inquiry which is yet another opportunity to grow. Whatever experiences I derive during the experience or aftermath, is all my own doing and my own to claim. Where is the part of the other in all this except part of the world as a learning ground to grow and experience?
Really, if there is a need – an expression of appreciation will do. 🙂