Permission to Doubt
Sometimes, it’s hard to be thankful. The negative chatter in the mind can be so noisy that it seems impossible to express genuine gratitude. Some of the obstacles to gratefulness can be our family, a group that we are part of, and even our church, temple, or other places of worship. The feelings of not being enough within, or for, our system or tribe can lead to deep-rooted fear, guilt, shame, and even mental illness.
Years spent in dysfunction within these systems are not easily undone. Since all of us have such a strong need to belong, we dare not question the beliefs, traditions, and the leaders of the system. To mask our doubts, we adopt the ways, customs, and language of our tribe. We master the art of cliches that lack any depth of insight. It seems easier to go along with the “program” rather than question why the system is not working for us.
So, it’s hard to be happy for any length of time. It’s a challenge to be at peace within. It’s difficult to be genuinely grateful, except when things are going well for us.
What’s the answer? The first step is doubt (there are more steps, but we will save them for another day).
When you give yourself permission to think, question, doubt, speak freely, change your mind, and be vulnerable without judgment, fear, or condemnation, you are beginning a process of healing from the wounds and scars inflicted by the systems you belong to. It may not feel like it at first. But when you follow its path until completion, you will, at some point, arrive at a place of inner harmony with all things that leads to a deep sense of genuine gratitude.
Adapted from Beyond Limits by David Youngren
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