What are you entitled to?

IMG_9080The world is unjust.
If you look at the statistics it is quite clear.
I do not have my share. So many people have more hunger, war, fear, illness, poverty and violence in their lives than I have ever known. It is just not right.
On the other hand some have more wealth, fame and health too.Totally unjust, I know.
Without making saints of the poor, or villains of the rich, I do think neither situation has anything to do with how much gratitude we have in our hearts. If you are not able to live in the fact that you are worthy of love and responsible for both loving your self and others, you will never feel that you get what you are entitled too, whether you are poor or rich. Insecurity and self-hate can both make you crave more than you need and hinder you from standing up for yourself. Loving only yourself will make you greedy and needy, whether you have more than your share or nothing at all.
Of course we, who live in the middle, with relative wealth, could start to list all the goods we have, to force gratitude out of sheer numbers. It would not necessarily make us thankful though. If I look for gratitude that way, I will either feel shame that I have so much and give something away, or I feel resentment that I do not have the riches others have. I could even make it a semi-pious thought like” I would have been so much better at sharing that wealth than he or she is”. Neither approach fills me with wonder about the fact that if I am alive to ponder such thoughts, I obviously have one thing to be thankful for.

To give thanks is to change focus from what we want to what we have. Which could be less than we need, and make us look for other options. It could also be a reminder that what we have more than we need, which means we are keeping somebody else’s share which of course is not ours at all.
As such it is a very practical untangling tool, and not a spiritual experiment. It works if my tangle is emotional and relational too. To look at something differently, you have to look at the problem from a different angle, which you do by placing yourself somewhere else. Like going for a walk and then think about your tangles. Or lighting a candle and see what issue comes first to your mind. Or  listening when you name your worry dolls. Or seeing what you do when treating yourself as well as you would a friend.
Chances are you would see what is really important. That is your tool to redefine your tangles, and after all find the one thing you have that will help you go on, for that be thankful. That one thing will show you the wisdom you have gained from experience, the knowledge you have learned from living, the trust you have learned from love, that is life. For that be thankful.

In November I take part in the NaBloPoMo,  in the BlogHer network. I post every day on “The Untangling Tens” what women do when life gets tangled. These are the ten tools that worked for those I have asked, what are yours?

All pictures in this blog are taken by me, Solveig Mjolsnes.These horses are grazing the dry grasses in Foxen valley.

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