Rev. Wayne Walder: Gratitude

by Reverend Wayne Walder

Are you sometimes at odds with yourself? Do you want to say “Thank you”, or act with generosity but something inside stops you from being gracious?

Are you unconscious about why you shy away from giving to others? I certainly have been. I have found it very difficult to adjust my behaviour from being selfish to being gracious. It has taken me several years to become more gracious and I am certainly not fully there yet.

My difficulty with gratitude came from a hidden story I told myself. It went something like this: “I am not worthy (because I am selfish, silly, empty, indulgent, etc.), therefore I have nothing to give”. I even thought that if I were to give (compliments, money, kindness), it would make me even less worthy than I already was.

This “trance of unworthiness” might exist for you, too. Our unworthiness is an old story that got buried in our minds when we were children for any number of reasons. Our trance often stays with us for decades. It can influence how we treat our loved ones. It can affect how we work with others. It can undermine our gratitude, it can make us blind to the grace around us.

Our trance needs to be seen as what it is: an old and familiar story that is no longer true. It is no longer true because we are adults and can choose how we relate to others. It is no longer true because our expression of gratitude will not deplete us. In fact, it can make us feel wonderful. And it is no longer true that we are unworthy. We do not have to be hostage to our past.

Our “trance of unworthiness” keeps us at odds with ourselves. It can make us feel fractured and not whole. Being gracious opens us up. It brings us into our body, into the moment. It can create friendship, and deepen relationships.

This month we invite you to practice gratitude, not in a theoretical way, but as a day to day action. We will offer different practices you can use to become more graceful as we learn to be open to grace.

Join us in our Sunday curriculum toward finding integrity. This month we learn through gratitude.


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