The Greatest Gift is Gratitude

submitted by Gratitude Girl Carolyn Buttram

“Greatness is not found in possessions, power or prestige. It is discovered in character, gratitude, and service.” – William Ward

As I have spent the last three years as a down-sizer, I have exponentially expanded my own awareness of the principles behind the idea of non-attachment. Throughout this experiment/experience, I have let go of most of the conventional wisdom of life in this society. For this I am grateful.

I have witnessed the illumination of my mind to the despair of clinging and grasping, both to things and to people. Practicing non-attachment towards all people, all possessions, all power, and all prestige has allowed me to experience freedom. Letting go and releasing both the idea of good and bad and accepting what is, I have discovered love and gratitude. Here-in lies peace. What is…is. For this I am grateful.

We are the experiencers of what is, and the producers of what is. When we get that idea into our being and silence the ego mind, then we move forward (or upward, if you will) with the speed of light into a place of lightness and awareness. I have, with every action and every thought, created the reality I find before me, as me. The reality I find as me is created by me. To think otherwise is foolhardy. For this realization, I am grateful.

With this realization comes great freedom. For if I have created this reality, which I tell myself “I don’t like” or “I do like”, I must realize I am also creating the judgment of the reality. If I created it, how then should I judge it? This place, and this pace, is the reality I have chosen. I have purposefully created the space and time to sit as long as I like each day and write or think. I have found a way in a world that disdains “idle” time, to do this thing that feeds my soul. For this I am grateful.

The time to sit and hear the trees speak to me on my back porch until they are finished talking or until I am finished listening for the day, who has that freedom? Yet I occasionally chastise myself for creating the life I have wished for as long as I can remember. A life where material possessions are recognized as useful but for the most part are non-essential. A life where time to contemplate, to read, to write, to sit, has been granted to me, that is bliss. It is what awakens my thankful heart every morning. For this I am grateful.

We always create the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Letting go of all except the present moment, forgiving completely everyone and everything and releasing all other sentient beings, seems to be one way to create the most grateful path within this illusion we are living. What is our reality? It is only and always that we are now, and have always been, the creators of it all. For this I am grateful.

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