What do I mean when I say Gift?
I mean Life and I mean ALL of it. Every last frustrating, unjust, heartbreaking aspect of it. Why, you ask, should I be grateful for frustrating, unjust, heartbreaking elements of my life? Because they provide context, an imposed FOCUS, on the human phenomenon we call the "ego." The worst elements of the human ego we are all too familiar with. An individual who demands to be the center of attention. Who's opinion will brook no interference. Demanding of others, yet conveniently unaccountable. Prone to "tantrums." Passive-aggressive when all else fails. You know the type.
Of course, this is just a worse case description of what we all, to a greater or lesser degree, experience of our own personality over the course of our lifetime. What compelled us to relinquish elements of this "me-oriented" approach? Life experiences. Seeing in others aspects of our self that repel us. Observing our own behavior and finding it inappropriate, inadequate, or just plain disturbing.
The ego thrives on external identification. Muslim or Christian? Democrat or Republican? Dodger or Angel? Chevy or Ford? Because the ego can't stand alone, it uses every opportunity to attach itself (identify) to something outside its human host. The ego "contrives" differences. It sets us up against the "other." It's existence is dependent on the concept of "duality."
So, it is my contention that even if the proverbial "worst" befalls us, at the least we can assimilate the event as an insight to the reactions and manipulations of the ego. However, I expand my idea even further. I contend that Life is not only presenting a gift, but that it is EXACTLY the gift that we most need at this particular time in our life.
Since childhood we have been inundated with the duality of life. Night/Day. Summer/Winter. Good/Bad. Of course, when it is morning in California, it is evening in England. When it is summer in the United States, it is winter in Australia. Could the "duality" of "good and bad" be just as subjective? I believe it is and the exploration of Gift-Gratitude-God will provide a first hand experience to decide the merits of my assertion. WPG
-photo credit: Photographer Taufik Sudjatnika’s Incredible Photos of Life in Indonesia
Tough concept, isn't it? Well, listen to Jill Bolte Taylor share her experience. One of, if not the most powerful message, I have ever heard.
Jill Bolte Taylor's stroke of insight (18min)
Hmmm, lottery winners and paraplegics experience the same amount of happiness after a years time? Now a brain scientist tells us "what a tremendous gift" her stroke was? Really?! Or could there be something to this Gift idea?
Once true observation begins, we eventually come to realize Life is not only a Gift, but we ourselves are an integral part of the Gift. A blurring of borders between object and subject. Watch yourselves, you're awe inspiring! Human Planet - Web exclusive series trailer - BBC One (3.0min)
A decision comes into focus... Lighter or Darker (3.0min)
"What do you choose?" I Choose Love (6.0min)
One of the secrets to life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks. ~Jack Penn
It is what you learn after you know it all that counts. ~John Wooden
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident. ~Schopenhaur
The greatest gift is a portion of yourself. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson