Book Excerpt – Have Your Heart’s Desire
“The grateful outreaching of your mind in thankful praise to the Supreme Power is a liberation or expenditure of force; it cannot fail to reach that to which it is addressed. And, as a result, God responds with an instantaneous movement toward you.”
~ Wallace D. Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich
As I said earlier, Everett was full of wisdom and kindness. During the time I had the good fortune to visit him, I learned many wonderful things. We used to have great discussions on the meaning of life.
Everett taught me to be thankful for everything. At first blush, this suggestion sounds like a Gratitude List, like those suggested by Oprah and The Secret (the popular book and movie describing the Law of Attraction).
Both Oprah and The Secret recommend that you make a daily list of all that you have to be thankful for. This is wonderful, especially when you feel discouraged. It helps you to see how much there is in your life to appreciate. In addition, when those inevitable hurts and losses occur, you can remind yourself of all that you have.
The Gratitude List is a great way to get you out of the trash can when the lid is wedged shut. There is nothing like being grateful for all that you have as a way of blasting that trash can lid off of your depression or your helpless feelings.
According to Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret, gratitude is the first step in the process of attracting the things, relationships, health, and happiness we all strive for. It is an important step in the process of the Law of Attraction.
When you are grateful, it sets powerful forces to work in your life. When you emphasize all that you have to be thankful for, you become a person that attracts more items, relationships, and opportunities for which to be thankful. It works on the principle of like attracts like.
If you are a person who mainly complains or feels sorry for yourself, you attract more reasons to complain or pity yourself. However, if you are thankful—and you will be as you keep a Gratitude List consistently—you will attract more reasons to be grateful.
To my surprise, I have discovered that people I would never have suspected of keeping a Gratitude List do so. For example, I recently spent a week at a writer’s retreat with a girlfriend who is a murder mystery writer. I’ve known this woman for a number of years and always saw her as a pragmatic and conservative person rather than a person who is open to body/mind/spirit concepts.
However, after a couple of days, she must have felt comfortable enough with me to mention, as she said goodnight and traipsed off to her bedroom, that she had made some wonderful progress on her writing and therefore already knew what she was going to put on her Gratitude List.
“What?” I asked. “You keep a Gratitude List?”
She told me how much it helped her to list those things she felt grateful for before she went to bed.
“You have no idea how much this has helped in my work and in my life.”
“But,” she added, “I limit it to only five things per night. Otherwise, you can wear yourself out with the list and stop doing it.”
I thought that was good advice. I realized that I had probably stopped keeping a Gratitude List because I had been writing too long a list and had become discouraged because of the time it took me.
In discussions with my friend about her Gratitude List, I also realized that in the past I had only included items in my personal life for which I felt grateful. I don’t know why, but it never occurred to me to list items from my work and business. I now try to look at the whole spectrum of my life for items to include on my Gratitude List.
Taking Gratitude to the Next Level
The Law of Attraction has been around much longer than The Secret. Everett knew it well. He taught me to take gratitude even further. He told me to be thankful for everything, even the things I did not like. In fact, he advised me to be especially thankful for the things that are as frightening as a rhinoceros fuming and getting ready to charge. In other words, for those items in your life that you fear, hate, and dread.
“There is a spiritual law in the Universe,” he told me again. “Like attracts like.”
If all you can do is wail and moan, then all you will get is something more to wail and moan about. However, as soon as you start being thankful for everything, the Universe will rush to find ways to give you more things to be thankful for.
“What?” you say, “Be thankful for the husband who beats me, for the mother that drinks, for this lousy job, for this unemployment, for this financial disaster, for this handicap? You’ve got to be kidding. If I’m going to be thankful for all this, I’m just going to get more of the same.”
No, Everett was not kidding. To begin, he did not mean that you should not feel angry for the troubles in your life. He did not mean to be passive or to be a doormat. Your anger helps you to figure out how to protect yourself and the ones you love. Everett did not mean you should be complacent for your lousy job or your alcoholic mother.
He did mean, though, that instead of spending your time feeling sorry for yourself or complaining, that if you felt grateful, you might see these difficulties as challenges instead of setbacks. You might see your problems as learning opportunities rather than disasters. In short, you might find the inner strength to better deal with your situation.
I suspect that Everett gave this advice to me because, at the time, I was going through a very difficult period in my first marriage. It was ending, and I was devastated. No, I was not handling the situation very well. I had bouts of rage and spent my time complaining, blaming, and feeling sorry for myself. Everett’s advice: to be thankful for every-thing—“and, I mean everything”—was the best advice anyone ever gave me. It helped to stem my tendency to make things worse by wallowing in self pity and feeling helpless.
Everett was trying to get through to me that the all-powerful subconscious operates on different rules than the conscious mind. To many it may appear that a person can control their life by fighting against the difficulties that come up. However, in matters under the control of the subconscious, you make better headway by being thankful for those very circumstances in your life that appear to cause you the most distress.
“Why?” you may ask.
In J. Everett Irion’s book, Why Do We Dream?, he explains that our souls have a greater idea of life than our conscious mind’s limited understanding of our intended purpose. By giving thanks for everything, we show our faith in our Higher Nature and its purposes for us.
In Why Do We Dream?, Everett also explains:
“This understanding, if accepted rather than rejected, will come as a natural result of the operation of the living creative forces, as they bring us a quality of being that may well be incomprehensible to our conscious minds, because it is imprinted in that first creation, which we cannot remember—This type of faith is inherent in a planted seed bringing forth fruit—By adopting the faith and acceptance that nature reveals to us, can we not see that a fundamental change in our reactions to everyday events would constitute a growth in consciousness?”
Furthermore, in the The Science of Getting Rich, Wallace Wattles states that:
“The moment you allow your mind to dwell with displeasure upon things as they are, you begin to lose ground. You fix attention upon the common, the poor, the squalid, and the mean—and your mind takes the form of these things. You will then transmit these forms or mental images to the formless. Thus, the common, the poor, the squalid, and the mean will come to you.”