I never fail to entertain myself!
The Truth Lives in the Question
By Julie Jordan Scott
I thought the question was almost as ridiculous as asking, “Do I really need to take another breath?” Disdain dripped from my pen as my fingers tapped my response onto the keyboard.
I have been working through questions from a website called lyved.com. The questions always evoke something in me: anger, frustration, curiosity, and when I am particularly blessed, new awareness.
Today’s question felt redundant, perhaps because it is something I ask myself each day. I thought, “Do I need to explore this more than I do now?”
Something happened, though, between the time when I started writing about an hour and a half ago and the time I sat at the computer to write something “more official” to share with the world. No, it isn’t about having you, my readers, my audience, enter into my stream of thought, it is more like the question and my slightly arrogant approach to it settled into my gut and started working me from inside my body.
I realized my disdain and arrogance weren’t the true thing. My practice and my ongoing love for the question is the true thing. My curiosity was linking the space in between, the “what is up with being disdainful about it?”
What am I grateful for?
I have journal entry after journal entry on this topic. On the 43things.com website alone I have made, up to today, 885 entries of gratitude. This, from someone who used to sneer down her nose at “gratitude losers” – people I thought were “in denial of reality pollyannas”… until I started practicing gratitude myself.
Obviously I am a fan of gratitude and expressing gratitude as a sacred practice – so why was this simple, aligned with my heart question causing my hair on my arms and the back of my neck to stand up, like a cat facing off with the neighborhood bull dog?
What am I grateful for?
I could shout out a list right now. Easy as pie. I wrote mine earlier today after all. I answered the question right at the top of the morning, like I do each and every day. See? Here they are, my at-least-five-gratitudes:
I am grateful today is Passion Activator Friday. Haven’t hosted one for a long time, so I am looking forward to a highly productive, enjoyable day. Woot Woot!
I am grateful to hear initial raves about “How I Learned to Drive”... when the creative director came to our Wednesday rehearsal (which none of us thought was that great!)
I am grateful for my cast mates. We have fallen into a groove of mutual support and respect. It feels so good! There are only five of us, so it helps that we are all strong, committed and focused.
I am grateful for the poetry challenges at ReadWritePoetry.org. It helps with my October goal PLUS it gives me a focus. All those poetic people showing up and commenting positively helps a lot, too.
I am grateful for phone calls with CMore, especially now that he is away…(but from the sounds of our phone call last night, he will be back today and not-so-very-late after all.)
I am grateful for Barbara, who helped me out with Sam yesterday.
I am grateful for the scent of applesauce cooking… so peaceful all day yesterday. I am grateful.
What am I grateful for?
The more I review my relationship with the question, the clearer the “what is up” comes.
First, there is a sense of worry and self judgment. “Am I doing this gratitude thing right? I must not be doing it right if I get so angry about being asked it here, by an inanimate web page created for personal growth, not personal tantrumming.
Second, there is a sense of “I am so above these questions”. That same sense of arrogance that bothers me about some of the authors of books many of my friends read. I don’t like to read them because their tone, their “I am such a guru and all of you reading this are such schlocks.” No, those authors don’t say that at all – but I manage to shove my opinion of their attitude – which I make up, by the way, into their work.
Third, there is a sense of “Why the heck am I wasting my time doing this when I could be decluttering or making phone calls or working on my business plan or doing some real writing?” my biggest area of lack or limited thinking. I have this belief I don’t have enough time – it has a tendency to take over and choke me, like vines climbing on a beautiful brick house, my warped time-beliefs become like a cloak and the matching dagger is my perceived inability to squelch it.
The truth is there is no “right” way to do gratitude beyond keeping it sacred. The point is well taken that if I am writing my list solely to check it off my planner, I am missing the point. Gratitude lists, sharing what we are grateful for, should be akin to prayer. Responding to this question reminded me – which is a very good thing.
The truth is there is not a hierarchy of questions which we answer and my favorite is probably akin to newborn question asking: “What is up with that?” A mom asks her newborn, “What is up with the tears, sweet heart?” and checks the diaper, burps the baby, perhaps brings her to the breast for a feeding.
“What am I grateful for?” may be answered in the cradle, in the graduate school, in the back alley and in the board room, all the same. It is a question that lives in the infinite
and also, perhaps in the rungs of a ladder.
The question is, perhaps, one pathway away from cultural hierarchy. It provides shifts that suddenly make the hierarchy unnecessary.
This is potent.
The truth is staying grounded in what I know eliminates any perceived time crunch. Staying in focus and aligned with what I know to be true settles fills me with the purple, gold and green of abundant thinking. That is the truth.
“What am I grateful for” helps me remember so much. It helps me live so much.
It is your turn to ask the question:
“What am I grateful for”
Can you see me smiling, in anticipation of your response?
I am grateful. So grateful.