Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Within Arm’s Reach – The Gratitude Trap

THIS is the first of a long series of articles.  It will be a long series because this term — the gratitude trap — was a gift given; a project for exploration that shoots beyond the existential constraints of this life, taking us into the spiritual realm, to the possibilities for joy, those things steeped in gratitude.
Gratitude seems such a mystery to those of us at our times of darkness, when we could see no reason for gratitude, even though we knew we had much to be grateful for.
That made us all the more furious with ourselves. We judged our hypocrisy. We saw ourselves lacking what should be owed to God from us.
So here is the corrective: the gratitude trap: the right place to be incarcerated.
The gratitude trap.
Imagine being stuck in a good place.
Ponder a living a delighted life.
Think how peace-lit life could be.
The gratitude trap — everything you want; nothing you don’t need.
Everything we want, and nothing we don’t need. In other words, total value.
This is the vision:
To be stuck in that good place, not being able to survive without gratitude, forced ever into the farthest reaches of a despicably blessed growth if we stray from it. What we have here is an aversion therapy for every mental, emotional, and spiritual ill. This is not to say there is one iota of denial for the state of invisible illness; but that that very state would compel us, and impel us forward, toward wellness and whatever that might take. We know it’s gratitude that implicates joy. So we’re ready to go there, to sacrifice the experiences of loss and grief in the present, as we press forward into a tomorrow ever coming. That day of joy, it comes, and it comes closer by the day and hour. In the meantime, we practice gratitude, and we’re daily indelibly won to what we now cannot live without. If we get frustrated, it’s for the right reasons; the right purpose is in mind. Some may say we’ve changed, and that they’re not sure for the better. But we know that we must fight to feel grateful. We must hold the faith.
Finally, we’re caught between a place where we can no longer live and the promised land. That promised land is now within arm’s reach.
Notice that the acronym is W.A.R.
Within Arm’s Reach (W.A.R.) is so close yet so far. We have embarked on a journey that we can no sooner turn back on. We’re in a war, and it’s only with ourselves. And, where we do not give up, we will end up there, the prison of our joy; in a gaol of glory.
So let the festivities of the struggle commence!
We make this commitment, in gratitude or not: to be grateful, and for gratitude to trap us there where we cannot any longer escape.
***
The journey to the acquisition of gratitude is a war, and each battle is fought and won in the fields of selfishness.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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