The Seeker of Peace


Thanks for Nothing
November 26, 2008, 7:42 am
Filed under: Non-duality, spirituality, World | Tags: , , ,

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. For a few years now, I’ve tried to incorporate gratitude as a regular part of my life. I used to keep a thankfulness journal, where I would weekly write down things for which I was thankful. Every night, when my family sits down for dinner, we hold hands and take a moment to each mention something that happened that day for which we’re thankful.

However, as we come up on the biggest celebration of gratitude for the year, I find myself questioning the approach. Isn’t being thankful for things just another form of judgment? We are thankful for things because we’ve judged them to be good. How often do we say we’re grateful for an illness, or thankful that someone insulted us, or happy for an unexpected expensive car repair?

This year, I’ve come to see cataloging the “good” things in my life as yet another form of ego reinforcement. I’m trying to shed my beliefs and love what is. But decreeing aspects of my life as worthy of gratitude implicitly designates other aspects as negative.

I see a parallel with interpersonal relationships. A Course In Miracles distinguishes between “special relationships” based on ego and judgment, and “holy relationships” that are free from judgment. My previous approach to thankfulness was like a special relationship with life itself. Loving what is, as Byron Katie does, seems more like a holy relationship with life.

Thus, this Thanksgiving, I’m going to be thankful for nothing. I mean that in the positive sense, just like being happy for no reason or loving everyone just because they’re fellow people. I’ll try to be as thankful for my chronic illness as I am for my wonderful family. I’ll try to be as thankful for my challenges at work as I am for having a warm home and food to eat.

After all, if I need something to be thankful for, I’m still looking to the external world for my happiness. So, this Thanksgiving, I’ll be giving a deep and profound thanks for nothing.

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