Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are upon us. Millions of homes will have families sitting down to massive amounts of food, warmth, cheer and stories. Many more homes will be vacant, foreclosed, silent and empty. Even more will be filled with abuse, fear, loneliness, depression or sorrow. It is easy to feel grateful when our bellies and bank accounts are full. It is not so easy to feel grateful when they are empty. This article is not for the ones who have many things to be grateful about. This article is for the ones who feel that they have nothing to feel grateful for.

It is one thing for people who have abundance, health, family or possessions to remember to feel grateful. It is quite another for people who have lost everything, or never had anything, to feel grateful. Yet, if we are going to save this planet from itself, two things have to happen. Those will enough to share must share, and those with nothing must be reminded to be grateful.

We are like pendulums on a clock that has billions and billions of pendulums. We are all connected on the upper end to the universal consciousness. The problem is we are down on the other end, watching life swing back and forth. Many people don’t realize that they are on a pendulum; they just watch lives going from one extreme to the other, from pleasure to pain, over and over again without understanding why. These pendulums keep swinging back and forth, marking seconds, years, or lifetimes. One moment we feel like we are sitting on top of the world, the next we feel crushed by the weight of the world on top of us.

The only serenity, equilibrium and peace lie where the pendulum connects to the clock. The other end is always moving, changing, passing time. When we sit on the bottom of the pendulum life always passes us by; the uncertainty of life causes suffering. At the top of the pendulum lies enlightenment. If we can be still, and keep our eyes on the metaphorical clock/God, life calms and we know that the other end of the pendulum is just and illusion.

The biggest problem of being on the end of the pendulum is that it causes people to feel like victims, a/k/a losers. Being on the bottom of the pendulum has no control; we are at the mercy of time and momentum. All of the control is at the top of the pendulum.

When we feel like we are victims, it is impossible to feel gratitude. Life is hard, and it sucks like a vacuum cleaner all of the joy out of us. When we find ourselves in this position, we have to remember that we are on the end of the pendulum and we are only experiencing one end of the pendulum. Two things are absolutely true in life. If you don’t like what you are experiencing, you can shift your perspective to the top of the pendulum where it connects with the clock; or, you can remember that the pendulum always swings back to the other end of the spectrum. Pleasure and pain, pleasure and pain.

Enlightenment comes when we realize that there is no difference between pleasure and pain. This is impossible when our perception is stuck at the bottom of the pendulum. If we can be still, and raise our perception to the top of the pendulum, we can understand that our circumstances were created by us and this too shall pass. The pendulum will continue to swing regardless of whether we are focused on the bottom tip or on the top connection to God. If we are focused on our connection to God, it is impossible to feel like a victim and we can be grateful. We also can see how much more fun it is to be close to God. We can look down at the bottom of the pendulum and see how its constant movement causes so much suffering. When we are experiencing pleasure, we forget that eventually we will suffer pain. When we are suffering pain, we forget that we will eventually experience pleasure again. This is the promise of the pendulum.

It is ironic that we have to set one day a year to remember to be thankful for our blessings. We should be doing that every day. The Muslims have the right idea in one regard; they remember God five times a day, like clockwork. So we can be victims at the bottom of the pendulum, or rise up to the top and be grateful. It is our choice, our “free-ing will”. When we are grateful that we don’t have anything is called enlightenment. Happy holidays!

Author's Bio: 

James Robinson has enough life experiences to fill five biographies. A trial lawyer for almost 30 years, a cattle rancher, horse trainer, dog breeder, restauranteur, alternative healer, international seminar leader, ordained minister and deacon, father, surivor of two marriages, and international entrepeneur, James has been successful in everything he has done. He has studied with philosophers, internationally known gurus, healers and sages. Through all of his trials, tribulations, successes and especially his failures, James has learned a lot of lessons about suffering, pain and happiness. He has written scores of articles and regularly shares his wisdom on the internet, facebook, twitter and James regularly travels to all four corners of the world to share his wisdom, healing and humor.