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Gratitude Expands the Heart

Twenty years ago, one of my sons moved out East to go to school. He and his partner eventually moved out of New York City and into a nearby city in Connecticut. Throughout his years in NYC, he mostly worked retail and therefore wasn’t able to travel home for the holidays. Being the traditionalist I am, this was difficult for me. Once his partner came into the picture, I was told they had family traditions for the holidays that couldn’t be broken. Evidently there were expectations they had to meet that included events at each of his divorced parents’ homes. The seed of jealousy was planted.

It didn’t take too long before my son and his partner began to travel the world with the in-laws. This fueled the growth of my jealousy. I was on an inward crash course, with jealousy morphing to include a barrage of other negative emotions as I berated myself for feeling jealous rather than being happy for them. I wanted to be happy for them. I even told them I was happy for them. But I just couldn’t feel it inside. My mind was spiraling downward with jealousy, guilt, and shame, and I felt out of control.

All of this began to shift as I deepened my gratitude practice. Little by little, I was able to feel joy for my son. He had such a loving family who welcomed him into their fold. Marjoram was there to assist me through the process:

As you continue to feel gratitude in your heart, unconditional love will grow. Take time this week as your heart opens and prepares you for your work. Live from this place of gratitude and love. Be the example to others. Observing is not judging. Be diligent about knowing and understanding the difference. Each time you encounter a person who you believe isn’t on a path of awakening, send that person unconditional love. Shine your light even brighter. They are in your life for a reason. Let your path unfold and enjoy the journey!

I gave myself space to meditate on all I held in gratitude. This led me to release the lower energy of jealousy. I became grateful that my son has another “mom” who lives closer to him and is there for him whenever he needs her. Those years of struggling with envy were quickly melting away. Jealousy had been replaced by deep gratitude and unconditional love. I was able to see her kindness, generosity, and love for him as genuine, and I felt so blessed she was in his life.

Gratitude may be something you take for granted, as I did. Allow these prompts to take you deeper into your practice.

What situations or people in your life are bringing emotions to the surface for you?

Is it possible to see them in a different way…one of gratitude?

Try it. Through a new lens, you, too, may find unconditional love and gratitude.

"The more grateful we are, the more connected we become in the universe around us." Stephen Richards

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