Gratitude (Or "What Christmas is really all about")

Gratitude is hard when you think you have nothing to be grateful for

When it seems that you have had everything that matters to you stripped from your life, and when you believe that there is nothing left for yourself, Be Grateful.

Be Grateful, even for everything that someone else has put you through

As difficult as it may be for some of us to be grateful to the creeps who made us fear everything and everyone, namely them, it is good practice for healing to be able to forgive and to build an attitude of gratitude toward our oppressors, and it is because without them we know not the things that we are and have always been capable of. When I say be grateful, I really mean it, and I say it because it brings to you a feeling of peace, a feeling that you can get through everything and anything that comes your way.

Be grateful for the things that have been presented as challenges in your life, because without the challenges, we cannot ever know just how deep the well of strength is within us, how strong the person who we really are and who we really have been all along really is. Without oppressors in our lives we do not know what needs to be seen to and repaired, and we can never begin to heal without it. We can never begin to understand who we really are without something or someone there to tell us what they think we are, and what they think we are is so far removed from the reality of who we really are that once it is that we have been goaded, or hounded, or belittled, or even beaten, into knowing who we are, we never know and we can never return to it unless we are paying attention.

This is not my telling you that I am fine with the abuses that many have suffered, but it is to say that whatever happens to us is meant as a lesson, if not in trusting people we shouldn’t, then in trusting ourselves to know that we can rise above everything that we have been witness to, everything that we have been told we are but are not, everything that we see as mean and horrible and things that cripple the soul. Without the tears we cannot know the depth or the joy that laughter brings and can never really experience it because there is nothing to measure it against. Without the pain we can never know what feels right, and without the daggers sent straight to the middle of the soul of our hearts we can never find out that every heart, no matter how broken, has the propensity to heal.

Without the ugly things that visit our lives we cannot know the depth and the worth of the beauty which resides within us all.

Take the good, the bad, and the ugly, and you come up with something beautiful

If there is one that I am very familiar with it is the depth of the soul of a person who lives their lives outwardly, lives their lives as though the only thing that counts, that has ever counted, was what they could accomplish in the material world, but there is nothing in the material world that has roots in the material and no matter what anyone thinks, it never will and it is because all of those material goodies came from a thought – a good thought, or perhaps even a very bad one, but none the less, the soul is where everything starts, because the soul is where our most precious treasures really are.

No matter what ugliness is part of your life right now, as Polly Anna as it might seem, you can turn it into something beautiful, something that somewhere along the Path that you are on right now will culminate into being something gorgeous and real and permanent and yours – you just have to believe that it is, and most of all, you must first have gratitude for it, even as it is still in your mind and in manifest and lives only as an intention.

And speaking of intention, never forget that it is the intention of a thought, of a desire that matters most, and not the thing itself. It is often said and widely believed that it is not the reward as much as the journey to the reward that we all pine for, and in the case of being grateful it is the one thing that matters the most. The journey to wholeness is not one for the weak of heart, the meek of soul, but it is the journey that all abuse survivors eventually must take, for without the drive to want to further your life, and without the desire to see things in a different light, there is nothing else that will lift a person out of the pit of hell called their life at present moment than knowing that one truth. No journey has ever been taken without also taking the very first step. In this case, the first step is simply believing, which, in an abuse survivor’s world, is something that must be relearned as it, too, is stripped of us.

Yet, once we have it back ( I refer to it as my “Girl Mojo”), there is nothing and no one who can stop us. Nothing. Not one person. It is this way because we have used the Spiritual muscles built up by hurtful words and action taken against us, and it is this that carries us through to our highest learning. It is the experience as an abused person that prompts us to become survivors, and once we are survivors, we then become fighters, and in our case, the fighter never does not reign victorious. We go from being just a survivor to being a reigning and victorious Soul with a heart and mind to match, and by my count, that is a lot to be grateful for. We find that we can handle almost anything that comes our way, and if we cannot handle it at that very moment, we know that our moment will come. It is not a matter of if, anymore, not in the case of the survivor of domestic abuse and violence, but rather and only, when.

It is Beautiful to be Grateful…

A person living in the Light of Love and with Gratitude in their heart is a person who has begun the Journey to healing. If we can manage to rise above the anger, above the shame and above the remnants of what we thought our lives should have been, we can manage to see to it that everything in our lives brought us to this point, to this place where we can stand atop the proverbial mountain, look out onto the world that is our lives, and see that we have much to be grateful for, see that we are not so without that we cannot manage to also see to it that we are a better beacon of Light than we are a purveyor of the darkness. Abuse survivors live their lives shrouded in darkness that is not their own but becomes theirs once it is that someone whose darkness is not bigger, but whose darkness is backed by all the power that they have within them.

People who have survived such things have not used every bit of what they were granted at birth, and in so knowing this cannot use it if they do not realize that they have it. We all have it, and once we can take hold of and harness it, there is nothing that we cannot do – not one damned thing, and this is the most beautiful and most important thing about Gratitude.

Gratitude is a Light unto its own. It sheds light on the things that are of importance to us, and breaks us free of the belief that we want more than we deserve, and we do not realize that wanting is different than desiring. Want leaves us feeling empty, but desire fills us with hope and banishes the fear which has permeated the Light within us for too long. When we can be filled with Gratitude our lives begin to change.

So, be in the Light that is Gratitude – YOUR Light that is Gratitude, and find within the one Christmas gift that has been yours all along…

I Love You All…

(Rev. Roxanne Cottell is a Freelance Writer, Speaker and Spiritual Counselor residing in Southern California. For inquires regarding the Ka Wahine ‘Ui dance program for survivors of domestic abuse,or any other inquiries. send an email by clicking this link . Her latest book, “Goddesses, Priestesses and Queens” can be purchased at and 


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