Garbled Gratitude

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In the past few years, my life has changed drastically. In the beginning of the metamorphosis I lacked the awareness of the changes that would topple out of a single sentence. It was a statement that captured the essence of a complete lack of gratitude. “I’m not happy.”

The utterance from my spouse captured my attention. As it ricocheted though my brain, it occurred to me that I should respond. But I didn’t. I just sat there amidst an abundance of comfort. I was puzzled and confused. Eventually, I got up and walked out of that particular room and I wandered into one of the many other empty rooms available to me.

As I moved from room to room, I saw the same life. A life filled with all of the items that are on the check list of happiness.

There were beds, warm blankets, bathrooms, clean water, food, electricity and a Keurig coffee maker. The apparent collection of comforts should have rated an astounding level of bliss.

Over the next several months I listened to an endless array of complaints revolving around the choices we had made over the years. At first I gave every issue my full attention. I began to incorporate all of these ailments into my vat of concerns. I then tried to solve each dilemma. I became a master at twisting myself into a pretzel for acceptance, then a chameleon for protection, and finally I back flipped my way into the Olympics of Unfulfilled Expectations. But I only got a bronze medal.

Apparently, there was still a lack of contentedness.

Then I stopped. My lack of motion caused the first thread to unravel. I could have tucked the thread back into the fabric and secured it with a dab of Krazy glue, and all might have been well. But, instead, I decided to yank the thread to see what the outcome would be.

The Gratitude TreeOnce I started, I could not let go. Soon the majority of the fabric was on the floor at my feet in an unrecognizable form.

Those who had originally constructed the pattern were becoming increasingly ungrateful with my sense of adventure.
Their lack of gratitude created vengeance in the form of taking; taking from me, taking from our life, taking from our son. Taking…taking…taking…I was losing objects and possessions in rapid succession. It was anticipated that I would eventually fall to my knees in misery, but I didn’t.

Instead, as each material item was confiscated from my wing span, I began to blossom. The light of gratitude for everything intangible shinned brightly. My emotions lightened up, my smile sparkled, my creativity overflowed and I glowed. I was physically strong. I was wrapped in the protection of my friends, my family, and my angels; and I was fully merged with my core.

As my family and friends watched me continue to find ample nuggets of gratitude, they began to gravitate toward me. I was blessed with all of the encouragement, support and love that any one person could ask for. In return, I doubled up on my sense of gratitude.

Today, I am still in the midst of being stripped down of everything I have known and owned for the past 12 years. The person who continues to demand and confiscate believes that once every solid object of security has been recalled into his possession, I will be destitute and alone.

But I am untouchable because I am grounded in my gratitude. Abundance will continue to roll toward me. It cannot be contained or limited by the energy of another. My gratitude sparkles and my essence grows in direct proportion to each moment that I acknowledge my blessings. As I bask in gratitude, I am unstoppable. And so are you.

ShelliAuthor of Circles of the Soul, Marymichelle Lotano has explored the areas of personal growth, meditation and art. Ms. Lotano is currently a full time writer and mother, residing in Carlsbad, California. Visit:


One Response

  1. Matt

    July 2, 2016 5:50 pm

    At the city gate and by your fireside I have seen you prostrate yourself and worship your own freedom, 
          Even as slaves humble themselves before a tyrant and praise him though he slays them. 
          Ay, in the grove of the temple and in the shadow of the citadel I have seen the freest among you wear their freedom as a yoke and a handcuff. 
          And my heart bled within me; for you can only be free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you, and when you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfillment. 
          You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief, 
          But rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound. 
          And how shall you rise beyond your days and nights unless you break the chains which you at the dawn of your understanding have fastened around your noon hour? 
          In truth that which you call freedom is the strongest of these chains, though its links glitter in the sun and dazzle the eyes. 
          And what is it but fragments of your own self you would discard that you may become free? 
          If it is an unjust law you would abolish, that law was written with your own hand upon your own forehead. 
          You cannot erase it by burning your law books nor by washing the foreheads of your judges, though you pour the sea upon them. 
          And if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed. 
          For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud, but for a tyranny in their own freedom and a shame in their won pride? 
          And if it is a care you would cast off, that care has been chosen by you rather than imposed upon you. 
          And if it is a fear you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared. 
          Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that which you would escape. 
          These things move within you as lights and shadows in pairs that cling. 
          And when the shadow fades and is no more, the light that lingers becomes a shadow to another light. 
          And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters becomes itself the fetter of a greater freedom…

    Wonderful piece Shelli I really enjoyed reading.
    (Linda’s hubby)


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