Thank Yourself  First

This time of the year, we begin a long season of holy days illuminating many cultures. Our ritual celebrations include Pagan, Hebrew, Muslim, African, Christian, Nordic, and more.  Whatever way you choose celebrate this time of the year, we bless all people who seek spiritual nourishment from these observances and use them to refuel their hearts and minds for another year of living. 

But there is something I have been thinking about that doesn't ever seem to come up at this time of year. I will jump right in...
Did it ever occur to you that we live our whole lives paying homage to our religions, ancestors, our families, our cultural icons, and our friends and lovers? We honor our bosses and co-workers for the gifts they bring into our lives. We give thanks for the Great Spirit who has provided us with consciousness, nourishment,  and shelter. We strive to attain a grateful heart and enrich our minds with new thoughts so we can maintain a high level of consciousness.  Most of our gratitude and adoration is freely given to others even though often we silently endure the pain and pleasures of life in order to walk our path demonstrating greater feats of courage and accomplishment.  Like me, you have probably put yourself last when gratitude is expressed. 
I know who you are. Because you are reading this paragraph, for instance,  I know you are a wise and loving spiritual seeker, much like me. We often forget that we are truly are an ocean of love, abundance, wisdom, and charity. Doesn't it seem odd that all we are and all we give is generally hidden in the depths of our unselfish soul as we recognize practically everyone else?

The Ocean We Are

If we compared our lives to the ocean, those with whom we give our gratitude are like individual surface waves that ebb and flow on top as we remain supportive and strong at the depths of the vast waters. We give our silent support to everyone who touches our lives and let them dance on the surface, while in the interface of water and air, we balance the winds and stabilize turbulent waters.  It is our own consciousness that provides a calm surface where others can feel our contributions... yes, we are silent and powerful in our devotion to others.  Most of the time, we marvel at their importance, but seldom do we pay homage to ourselves whose very depths support the entire life creation that is our soul's journey.

With humility and deep conviction, I would like to suggest, as we begin a season of holy day celebrations - including a major celebration of gratitude - that we thank ourselves first. There will be plenty of opportunities to acknowledge Heaven and Earth after we have taken what is rightfully ours to take - an etheric pat on the back, a silent round of applause, a self-reward for who we are and what we bring, a song of high praise sung beneath our breath, and a clear vision of our self-worth. Is this too much to ask? We freely give these things and more to all others who touch our lives. 


Narcissism? Think again...

If this suggestion seems narcissistic, please consider spite of whatever we give silently to ourselves, we will still show plenty of gratitude for those who influence us with their many gifts; we will still whisper prayers of appreciation and sing praises for the accomplishments of others; and we will still elevate those who achieve greatness to a lofty podium in our minds. It isn't like we are discounting the importance of others in our lives. We are just adding ourselves to the long list of those we are grateful to know. In truth, this little suggestion goes beyond the concept of narcissistic "self-adoration." Self-gratitude is a totally different dynamic.

There is a metaphysical truth about self-appreciation. When we dare to speak highly of our Self, all our love and energy reverts inside us where it literally resonates every cell of our body, mind, and spirit. This regenerates infinite aspects of Creation. In the process,  All Life is sanctified by the energy of our self-recognition. When we thank ourselves first, we continue to vibrate to a higher frequency where the true nature of the creative force originates. Emanating this strong vibration for the Universe to feel is the purest demonstration of gratitude that can be expressed; for when we are grateful for ourselves and feel recognized and acknowledged, we are able to give honest gratitude to others with the full force of our love. There is nothing more disingenuous than expressing gratitude for others when we cannot even feel our own self-gratitude. How can we love another when we don't love ourselves?


This is the time and the season...

As a practice of spiritual expansion, be ready to honor all that you are, and all that you give. Let it begin now. The holy day ritual celebrations will require much of us. We will give our energy in many ways in order to help others feel love and support. We will drain our time, our patience, and our bank accounts to build a moment of joy and holy transformation for those we love. We will share spiritual and communal bonding. While we are giving so much for the sake of others, stop and give back to yourself. Be prepared to experience a spiritual fullness like none other. Moment by moment, see yourself included when you are sharing with others. Take a different approach to gift-giving, by knowing that whatever you give to others, you can also give to yourself. The richness of your sacred self-offerings becomes the holy ground on which you will walk each day. The altar of your self-awareness becomes a place of divinity for All Life. In this way, we can ask with full authenticity, who is being worshipped when we cherish ourselves equally as those we cherish? Love. We are cherishing Love.


Written by Shara Gardner

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