Love is the way I walk in gratitude.
In the world’s eyes, we are grateful when – comparing ourselves to others – we are thankful because we are not suffering the way are, we have more than they have, et cetera. We don’t live in a war zone, we aren’t subject to famine. A tornado didn’t just pass through.
This is incoherent. How can the fact that others suffer more than us make us happy? How we can be thankful at all when suffering is present anywhere to any degree?
There is – because there is always – another way.
It is insane to offer thanks because of suffering. But it is equally insane to fail in gratitude to One Who offers you the certain means whereby all pain is healed, and suffering replaced with laughter and with happiness (W-pI.195.2:1-2).
In other words, the distorted interpretation of perception offered by the Holy Spirit forces us into a state of competition with our brothers and sisters – which competition is premised on scarcity – and denies the existence of God, Who is our Salvation.
In essence, love is the answer to all our problems and only love is real. We can choose to see the world through the eyes of Love – which IS the Holy Spirit – or through the eyes of fear, which is the familiar mode of ego.
Love does not compare, because Love does not recognizes any differences upon which value could be based (W-pI.195.4:2). The end of differences is not the end of the self, but it is the beginning of the freedom and creativity by which we remember our oneness with God.
Gratitude is yoked to Love, because Love undoes the differences upon which our fear of loss, of suffering, and of death are premised. This is not just a statement about or own state of existence; it is rather a statement about the collective, about all our brothers and sisters, broadly defined to include whales and tulips and dragonflies.
. . . let your gratitude make room for all who will escape with you; the sick, the weak, the needy and afraid, and those who mourn a seeming loss or feel apparent pain, who suffer cold or hunger, or who walk the way of hatred and the path of death. All these go with you (W-pI.195.5:2-3).
It is easy to imagine a whale sharing our salvation. It is easy to imagine our horses or dogs. It is harder to imagine a serial killer or a rapist. It is hard to imagine an arms dealer or a racist.
A Course in Miracles insists that our gratitude reach even those we would exclude – perhaps, especially, those we would exclude.
Let us not compare ourselves with them, or thus we split them off from our awareness of the unity we share them, as they with us . . . We thank our Father for one thing alone; that we are separate from no living thing, and therefore one with Him (W-pI.195.5:4, 6:1).
Love holds everything, and we give thanks for all of it – otherwise our thanks is hollow (W-pI.195.6:3).
This lesson is reminsiscent of the eighteenth principle of miracles, which teaches us miracles are the “maximal service” we can render to our brothers and sisters (T-1.I.18:2). The miracle establishes our equality with all life, with all Creation, and we rejoice accordingly.
Tara Singh, who considered Helen Schucman one of his spiritual teachers, often talked about her insistence that he keep a gratitude journal, and remain always in contact with the many reasons to be grateful and thus to walk “the way of love” (W-pI.195.8:1).
When we are grateful for all things, and when we remember – and act in remembrance of – the fact that Love holds everything, then we are gently and naturally restored to our true identity in God, because we no longer fear God. We no longer need to exclude this person or that idea from love. Our gratitude is unconditional.
Who loves this way, remembers Love. Who loves this way remembers that God loves us and calls us His Child – what more could we ask for?
Gratitude goes hand in hand with love, and where one is the other must be found. For gratitude is but an aspect of the Love which is the Source of all Creation. God gives thanks you . . . (W-pI.195.10:2-4).
Love is the answer to all our so-called problems because only Loe is real. When we accept our responsibility to see as Christ see, then the illusions of the separate self and world are undone and we remember our home in creation. Together we share the one Love that creates us equal. There is nothing else to do.