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Being Thankful

image from sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com – #Being Thankful

Being thankful isn’t always easy

In fact sometimes it’s downright hard

But the evangelists tell me it’s all just an attitude

Well, Grammy Jen tells me I have an attitude

And what’s more I should just get rid of it

So I’m a might confused about what I should do

~

Like yesterday

Momma told me to get to the wash

And I pounded and pounded to get Tommy’s jeans clean

That basket was like to tear my arms from my shoulders

But right in the middle of the yard

Little Bobby went scooting past on his wagon

I got my feet all tangled and down went the wash

All over that dirt yard

And I started to tremble something fierce

~

Momma whooped me plenty for being so careless

And I had to pound those clothes extra hard this time

Every time I pounded those clothes

I pretended I was pounding some gratitude in there

It helped take my mind off the whooping

But it didn’t make me feel any better

~

Later when I was helping Momma with dinner

Tommy told her I tore his jeans

He only has one good pair cos he’s always tearing them

So she whooped me some more with the big old spoon

For being so careless with Tommy’s jeans

I know it wasn’t Christian like but I snuck a bug

On his plate of squirrel stew

He never noticed and I figured God would understand

It’s sure hard to be thankful when it seems like it’s always my fault

Being Thankful

image from dougsploitation.blogspot.com #BeingThankful

~

I figure if I keep being thankful

Even when it’s always my fault

Maybe eventually all my daily ‘ thankfulness’

Might fill the biggest old barn around

And then instead of all that whooping

I might get a barrel full of hugging

To make it all worthwhile

~

But Grammy says it don’t work like that

She says, “Girl just fill yourself with gratitude,

Don’t worry about all that attitude,

God’s watching all we’re doing, and girl you’re doing just fine,

So go on now and sneak down to the river and play

Momma’s gone for the rest of the day.

And Tommy’s out after squirrels,

I’ll look after little Bobby and today we’ll both

Get our fill of thankful and gratitude

And I’ll see that sweet smile of yours for a while”

~

So I ran down to the river and swam for hours and hours,

Lay on the grass and watched the angels in the clouds

And I could feel all that thankful and gratitude Granny told me of

And I knew that everything was going to be alright

Because I could see my road stretching far away

On God’s beautiful highway.

Being Thankful

image from forums.vwvortex.com – Seward Highway, AK       #BeingThankful

 “Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”
― John Henry Jowett

Thankfulness and gratitude are used almost interchangeably. For those things we are giving thanks for, we are expressing our gratitude for. There is no need to become bogged down in the correct terminology, if we are looking at life, at our day and being grateful or thankful for the good things which happen, then we are doing all the right things to make our world a better place.

Focus on the good things, no matter how small and more of those good things are magnetised towards us and life can become a wondrous place. It’s that easy – just remember that like attracts like.

May your days be filled with thankfulness and gratitude.

Blessings,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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“You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.”
Swami Vivekananda

Some people spend their whole lives searching for their own truth. Some take the truths their families taught them or the church taught them and are fulfilled and happy with this. For these people it is right and none can gainsay this. For those who search for their truth, the questioners of life, death and all manner of things, their search may be long, yet we must hope that they eventually find what they are searching for.

What feels like a lifetime ago I turned my back on the beliefs I was brought up to believe. I was a questioner. I needed to know the ‘why’ of things. I couldn’t blindly accept what I was told. I was part of the new movement of people who wanted to understand their world, their place in it and where it was leading to.  Until I was 14 years old I thought I understood my place in the scheme of things, but I had reached a place filled with questions and I could find no-one to give me answers.

My Grandmother, my Nanny, was a beautiful lady. She had been ill for much of her life having contracted St Vitus dance as a young child which left her with a weak heart. She had such a strong belief in her faith, in God that despite all her travails she believed. In all honesty it probably kept her going through everything.  Her passing and the manner of her passing saw me reach a crisis in faith.

Beautiful memories

Beautiful memories  Nanny sitting between her brother, Alec and Grandad, her husband.

It was the first time I refused to cry. I refused to allow the mourners who had come to sit with the coffin, this was in the days when the coffin came home for the final viewing, I refused to let them see me upset or cry. It felt as though their eagle eyes were boring into my back as they watched me cross the parlor, waiting for me to break down in hysterics. In my self-imposed agony I refused to allow them that satisfaction. It is strange what thoughts pass through your mind at times like that. To this day I abhor open casket viewings.

There was no closure, I had important exams the next day and my parents, wishing to spare me the distressing funeral service told me to go to school. Whether this would have helped I don’t know, I only know that it hurt almost as much as losing her.  It also created an internal barrier which prevented me from going to the cemetery later.

I was a ‘good Catholic’ girl, attending a Catholic college and was a handmaid of the Blessed Sacrament. I went to mass every day at school and thought I might become a nun. That was about to change. I needed desperately to understand why, an all merciful God could take a beautiful soul in such a horrid and heartbreaking way. In a fit of despair I asked my school chaplain this question. I was told it was “Not my place to question the workings of God.” Further pressing on my part solicited the response the “I would be excommunicated for my heretical behaviour!” I was so angry at this callous attitude I believe I was quite rude. By this time I’m afraid God and the Church had lost me anyway.

I refused to go to church at school unless it was absolutely necessary, but refused to open my mouth at all, refused Communion and, but for my mothers deepest wish for us to continue to go to church would have stopped going with her also. I refused, in my mind at least, to have anything to do with a God who was so vengeful and cruel. There was no blessings to be had for me at that time.

It was a bleak time. The pain refused to lessen and my obdurate stance on refusing to cry caused Mum a lot of heartache. I also refused to go to the cemetery with the rest of the family. I took the better part of a year before I found my way there alone one day. There was no peace there for me. I didn’t feel God’s presence or his reassurance. I simply saw a sad and lonely place, filled with dark reminders of those who had been lost. There were no answers there for me only more heartache.

Even though we left England a couple of years later I hadn’t reconciled to going to the cemetery with Mum, always making my solitary way there so spend time trying to remember something other than the last time I saw her face. Perhaps that was the cruelest irony of all for me at that time.

I was wrong. It appeared the “all merciful God” had not finished with my lessons in his omnipotence. My granddad didn’t want to leave all his friends and family and come to Australia. It was difficult leaving him behind but there was a hollowness inside that this new pain simply sank into. There was plenty of time for introspection on the way over, between the insane bouts of high jinks. Yet the thoughts of “why’ and “what does come after’ never left.

There was a strange feeling a couple of weeks after we sailed. It coincided with getting underway after the long layover in Teneriffe. I woke one night to hear my granddad calling my name. Just that, but so clear I answered him. Then it was gone. A puzzle for me to think about.

When we arrived in Australia my parents were ushered into my Aunt and Uncles lounge and ‘the children’, of which I was apparently still counted as, were ushered into the garden in the broiling sun. Shortly afterwards we were called inside. As soon as I saw my mothers face I simply said “Granddads dead, isn’t he?” Despite the shock on her face she confirmed that he had passed away in his sleep two weeks after we left England, the same night I had my name called.  I had more questions than ever. So many things were piling up in my mind and I was looking for answers to them wherever I could.

In part two I recall the strange places I searched to find the answers to my growing number of questions,

Man learns through experience, and the spiritual path is full of different kinds of experiences. He will encounter many difficulties and obstacles, and they are the very experiences he needs to encourage and complete the cleansing process.”
Sai Baba

Blessings,  Susan x

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