Whew! 2021 is winding down and I can honestly say that these past 12 months have been a doozy. I’ve learned more about myself and what it means to have gratitude than I could have ever imagined. Lessons that smacked me in the face and pushed me forward towards even more personal growth. Lessons that at the time I resisted and fought. I didn’t want to learn what the universe had planted in my lap. I didn’t want the growth to come from me, I wanted everyone around me to do something different. If I could convince myself that change from outside myself would ease my pain, then I wouldn’t have to do any of the heavy lifting right?! I could continue to point fingers and stay nestled in my fear or anger or helplessness. Remaining a victim to my circumstances just seemed to make more sense. Besides, who wants to go through the work of change? I mean that’s a tough class, a class I didn’t want to take.
But here’s the thing about lessons and teachers, they are the intrical parts needed to make us better. No really. As much as we might fight against what we are needing to learn, resigning ourselves to the process is what’s going to get us through to the other side of our chaos. It’s the only way we reach gratitude. The only way we get to the point where we’re welcoming to what’s happening. We might not like what’s occurring but at least we know there is a message being sent to us. A message we really need to take to heart. I know it’s challenging sometimes to open ourselves up to acceptance of situations that cause us angst. But those are the times we’ve been given a gift. And as much as we might want to return the gift, claiming it doesn’t fit, what we need to understand is, the gift is perfect.
I know for me, going through the fire of change has forged in me a stronger resolve and a deeper understanding of my inner workings. It was a process I pushed to the side for decades. Who wants to deal with habits that keep us locked in destructive behavior, that sounds like a horrible way to spend the day, or month, or months. But this year I had to unpack those habits. Those behavioral habits that protected me years ago, but today were no longer serving me. As much as I didn’t want to do it at first, as much as I resisted admitting I was continuously electing actions and beliefs that kept me stagnant, I stood up to my ego and said no more. Even more importantly I asked for help. I raised the white flag of surrender. I’d hit bottom, which was fantastic, because at least now I was standing on something firm. I was finally ready to deal with the heavy lifting. To tackle all the ways in which I was “protecting” myself that were no longer necessary.
With massive amounts of dedication, tenacity, and good ol’ gumption I began the long journey to gratitude. I opened myself up to learning new ways of seeing myself, my relationships, and my worth. You know it’s interesting, somehow I thought that admitting my less than stellar behavior was somehow going to brand me as a bad person or that people might not love me (I could probably write an entire book on conditional love and its effect) but what I began to learn was that it wasn’t really so much about how other people were going to treat me regarding my behavior, but how I had learned to treat myself. I had to change the way I saw myself.
Do you know what happened? The more I loved and had confidence in myself, the more loving and confident I became in all other aspects of my life…go figure. I began to realize that gratitude wasn’t really so much about what was happening outside myself, but how I felt internally.
When we are full of self love, confidence, acceptance, assurance, the list goes on, we are much more open to the gifts being placed at our feet every single day. Every moment we live in a space of self love is a moment of gratitude. We will know without a doubt that all life’s happenings are taking place to push us to our own perfection. Yes, even those moments that test us. Why? Because we’ll have confidence in the fact that we can handle the moment. We can approach our lessons in love and truth and joy.
John and I hope all of you have a beautiful holiday and that each and every one of you will be able to capture the gratitude hurtling past you constantly. Be on the lookout for it, embrace it, love it.
John and Jackie Melfi are in a consensually non monogamous marriage. They have been featured in ABC News Nightline Special Report “Getting Naughty In N'awlins”, Inside a New Orleans Swingers Convention, and CNN “This Is Life” with Lisa Ling. The Melfis are the force behind the industry famous colette swingers clubs in New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, and Austin. With over 20 years of combined experience, this powerhouse couple coaches thousands of singles and couples through their award winning blog Openlove101.com.