You know, Kari, we always talk about Gratitude in our conversations together, and in our everyday lives, we think about the power of Gratitude, with application to the Law of Attraction. Yet what we tend to gloss over is the concept of Ingratitude vs Gratitude and how we maintain equilibrium between the two, and this is what I’d like to discuss in more depth with you in this conversation.
Let’s first take a look at the word Ingratitude, its meaning and interpretations. Some sources call it a lack of appreciation for help given; others refer to it as the state of being ungrateful or unthankful. “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you,” is a well-known idiom dating back to around 600 BCE, when used by the Greek poet Sappho, referring to a dog biting the hand of its master.
Another interesting phrase we grew up with is: “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” This originates in the 16 Century and refers to the ungratefulness of inspecting the teeth of a horse given as a gift, to tell its age…
How often do we lash out at someone when we’re in a bad mood, completely oblivious of the fact that they’re just trying to help? Why do we turn our noses up when we’re given birthday or Christmas gifts that aren’t to our taste? “But I wanted a red one, not a blue one!” screams the spoilt brat when presented with his two-thousand-dollar quadcopter…
I have two neighbours who, behind my back, bemoan the fact that my two cats use their yards to perform their ablutions, conveniently forgetting that, when they’re away on vacation (which is quite often, since they’re both comfortably retired) I keep an eye on their properties, seeing as I work from home. And interestingly enough, here I am saying to myself, “ah, to hell with them,” when these are good folk who always greet me with a friendly smile and a chat, whenever I see them! So who’s showing Ingratitude I wonder…
Well, I am, and so are they! This is my point, Kari—we go through life, unaware of the Ingratitude that prevails just beneath the surface of the façade of Gratitude that we do believe we show… And this is where the problem lies!
We can talk about Ingratitude vs Gratitude at a level of mankind, and indeed we shall; yet it’s right here with our individual Way of Being and in our everyday language, that this Ingratitude manifests, unbeknownst to us, continually countering and disempowering all of the positive energy we generate through Gratitude!
Let me get back to the spoilt brat for a moment though. We all have the capacity to be brats, even as adults, and some more than others—and it’s called Ego! Go on admit it, you find yourself saying, “Do I really need yet another pair of socks as a gift? Bright blue Smurf ones too?” Now I hate to break it to you, good readers, but merely thinking the thought negates the “thank you, I’ve always wanted a pair of Smurf socks!” outward display of Gratitude… You then compound the negative effect by rolling your eyes the minute they look away!
How about those times when you’re driving in traffic and you allow someone in front of you, and they fail to thank you? You say to yourself, “well, there’s an ungrateful sod for you” and you proceed to not let another motorist in front of you for the remainder of your journey. You should simply give Gratitude that you’re a courteous driver, whilst others might not be, and leave it at that.
These are examples of everyday life, and although somewhat humorous when we acknowledge our susceptibility, they illustrate a mere fraction of the number of times we display Ingratitude without considering the impact upon our Way of Being.
We should be extremely wary of our inner brat!
Now I’ll address the issue of Ingratitude on a broader scale. A couple of years ago, I was consulting for a national labour broker, who was responsible for the staff compliment of a number of large retailers. They were constantly beset with problems such as absenteeism, theft, dereliction-of-duty and strike action. This, by the way, is a phenomenon that is common throughout the world—yet ironically, more prolific in countries such as South Africa, where there are high unemployment statistics.
People seem to have an issue with being employed. Where they should express Gratitude for at least not being unemployed, they want more, and because labour unions are continually urging them to protest and strike to get what they want, they forget that, should their employer be forced to engage in staff cutbacks, then they might be out of work anyway…
In addition to providing these people with jobs, this labour broker also undertook to offer extensive skills development training. Now, if someone applies him/herself to Gratitude, rather than expending their energies on expectation, surely they would realise that by concentrating on improving their personal development, and in turn that of their employer, their opportunities for a better lifestyle would be exponentially enhanced?
I might add that these large corporations, and indeed all employers, could do no harm to their standing, or their profits, by showing a little more Gratitude towards all the people, staff, service providers, customers and consumers who make them so large and powerful! Quite the contrary in fact! Far too many organisations take their standing for granted and are focused solely on the amount of money they can make. Ingratitude and greed…
Unfortunately though, those of us who are truly Grateful for what we have, however little or much, are in vast minority. We’re back to that 1% of people living in Abundance, Kari, and isn’t it interesting that since we’ve been engaging in this series of comparative conversations, the factor of Scarcity vs Abundance is ever-present?
Given then, that Gratitude is a characteristic of Abundance (that miniscule one percent), then it follows that Ingratitude resides in Scarcity—the remaining ninety-nine percent. Makes you think, doesn’t it? Take a good hard look at your everyday use of language, in action and thought, and you might well observe Ingratitude lurking between the lines someplace…
So, Kari, how do you equate all of this as a Kinesiologist and how does the hypothesis for Ingratitude manifest in the kinetics of a human being, both singularly and collectively?
A very good question, Guy! Well, as we all are unique in our expression, it is an individual manifestation; still, I’ve so often listened to clients stating their Ingratitude for experiences in life. It may be their partner, children, parents; it may be job issues, friends; it can be towards everybody and everything.
However, one thing is for sure, behind Ingratitude, there is a hurting heart… There is a feeling of loss of interest from the surroundings, that we’re not appreciated, not understood, we want everybody to be fascinated by what happens in our life, to agree with us that the we deserve Gratitude for the way we act! And when we don’t get it, we feel rejected, wounded, used and hurt.
All this is amplified by the fact that we don’t feel we have any choice about this; it is “the other’s” fault. “They” do not get it! “They” should feel how it is to be me for only one day in their life! Then maybe “they” would understand what “they’re” doing to me!
I am going to throw in a torch here, Guy! These are unconscious feelings and they come from the feminine part of us! It is very difficult to analyse the root of them, we just know how we feel, and are unable to see what causes it in ourselves, so we project it to our surroundings.
That does not at all mean that women are suffering from Ingratitude, while men are not! We’re all in a constant flow of energy, back and forth, from masculine energy to feminine energy and vice versa, and Ingratitude’s partner is Gratitude, also feminine.
Let me explain this, Guy, before somebody shoots me:
I’m sure we can all agree that it is a masculine power to know what you want, go for it, no matter what the cost, to have focus. Of course that is partly a female power too, and as for Norway (and I know that it is also reality in many countries), the government encourages women to do so. We have the same rights for both genders, women are welcomed into what used to be male territory, yet still women continue to do more of the traditional “woman’s work” we used to do.
It is a feminine power to be caring, and in order to do so, it is natural that the feminine part of each and every one of us shows interest in whatever is going on.
We do understand, or at least we do our very best to understand, and in order to do so, we need to be able to be tuned in to the other person. That is nature! No matter what happened over the last fifty years, we are still genetic, and it is a female “job” to be creative and caring, even create new human beings! So we need to be able to keep our mind on so many things at once.
That is, as long as we feel interest, as long as we feel we’re equal and we have a choice. I always say, beware when your woman gets quiet and resents herself for what’s going on. It does indeed seem like, and often is, Ingratitude, as well as it is covering over so many unconscious feelings!
So, is this really only a female thing? Definitely not! It happens to all of us, as we’re in a constant flow of energy! And as we increase in consciousness, as we slowly start to mature, we become more and more aware of the virtue of Gratitude, don’t we, Guy?
Yes, it is a very important part of The Law of Attraction, still so is Ingratitude! We attract whatever drama we run inside ourselves, conscious and unconscious! When we feel hurt, wounded, used, no matter what the circumstances are, big or small, we act in different ways. Maybe we start to question the other person. This person feels attacked or gets annoyed, or we fall into that trap ourselves, and end up frustrated or feeling unaccepted in some way. That is certainly not anything to be Grateful for, is it?
Now, there is a gift here, Guy! And a beautiful one too! Can you see how the other person reacts to our inner feelings? Like a mirror, they are projected back to us. When we are able to recognise this gift and start feeling Gratitude for the way we all show each other our potential for growth, the lesson is learned!
Now we’re ready for the next one.
I was thinking of one of my neighbours many years ago. She was about 70 years old and we always had a nice chat whenever we met. As said before, I have four children, and when they where kids, they used to play outside a lot. Often they played football, and the ball rolled into her garden every once in a while, as her house was situated lower then ours.
Every time that happened, it was as if she had changed into another person. She got very angry, scared my children to tears before she phoned me to tell me what a bad mother I was and how sorry she was for having us as neighbours. After all she had done in her life, being a single mother and everything, now she had to keep up with us when she should be given the reward of admiration!
I was young; I was polite and insecure of how to handle this, as it happened again and again. Then she called me one day, when I was really feeling used and wounded and I got angry myself. I told her that it was enough and that we were not able continuing living as her neighbour, if this was going to continue.
End of story, we became friends again and she apologised. But the real end of the story is that now, when looking back, her actions were a reaction of my insecurity, my feelings of being defeated and conquered, as it was a difficult part of my life. And isn’t that indeed worth Gratitude??
Life is so amazing, Guy, as we all react to other people’s actions, with Gratitude or Ingratitude. I am sure this is often an issue in your Ontological and Transformational coaching, so how do you assist people towards realising the truth of what’s going on?
Well, my dear friend, Kari, on the subject of Gratitude, I must say at this point, how Grateful I am for having your presence in my life! The unfolding of the fruits of our union truly is a thing of beauty, and to have this female counter-balance you represent, is compass that guides us in our quest!
Ontologically and universally, we could not hope for better circumstances, where two people, having discovered what they want, in terms of their Way of Being; male and female; living in opposite hemispheres, with complimentary fields of knowledge and experience, combine to form the perfect recipe for creating and manifesting conscious awareness across this planet—however gradual the process may be to begin with.
Gratitude, when contemplated in these terms, is indeed a humbling teacher!
A couple of years ago I was at the till point at my local supermarket checking my groceries through, when the packer at the end of the till suggested that if I chose a different brand for one or two items, that were on promotion that day, not only would I save money, but I’d also gain additional complimentary product! She took me through to the aisle and showed me where these items were on display.
This was not in her job description—all she was paid to do was pack groceries for customers. To my mind she should have been store manager, for all the aptitude she possessed, but this is not the point I wish to make. My Gratitude towards this woman, who went out of her way, as a simple act of friendship towards someone she’d never met, was such that, to this day, I always greet her and have a few words to say to her every time I visit the supermarket.
Not only that, I also came to know, after quite some time, that she suffered from a heart condition that had troubled her for years. Every time I see her now, I wish I had the means to reach out and help her seek the treatment she deserves, as she is of very humble means.
She doesn’t ask for Gratitude, yet she is clearly Grateful for what she has in her life, and it shows in her Way of Being. She is outwardly a kind and happy woman who will only give an inkling of her inner challenges to those she trusts.
Now imagine a world where all humanity was to strive for this level of consciousness. What if we could simply express our Gratitude to one another, for giving each other the opportunity to learn something new—about ourselves, and those we engage with in conversation each day? That’s one of Life’s greatest gifts! Unfortunately though, this will take time (and lifetimes), as those living in Scarcity far outweigh those seeking Abundance in life.
How about giving Gratitude for what we haven’t as yet received? An anecdote I’d like to share is of a term we use in Martial Arts practice, which I believe points to the idea of expressing our Gratitude to one another in advance: Whenever we begin a training interaction with a partner, whether it’s someone we’re acquainted with or not, we formally bow and say to each other: “Onegai itashimasu” or “Onegai shimasu”, which in the context of practice means simply: “please teach me”. This establishes an understanding and respect for each other, as well as the knowledge that we are both about to gain the benefit of learning something new.
At the beginning of our conversation I mentioned how we attribute the Law of Attraction to the amount of Gratitude we give. Well here’s a secret for you, dear readers: Attracting what you ask for is not manifested as much by giving Gratitude for what you already have, as it is by giving thanks for what you have yet to receive.
It’s important that we fully comprehend this distinction, because it can radically alter your very Way of Being!
As I’ve said time and again, we create through language. By sending out a message to the Universe that we are Grateful, not only for all the wonderful things already constituted in our lives, but primarily for all that we need to complete our vision of Abundance, the wheels are set in motion to produce and deliver to us exactly that. And incidentally, Gratitude in advance also precludes our asking for what we don’t want!
Because Gratitude is not a concept of expectation or demand, the energy we’re casting into that vast reservoir of untapped potential we all possess is both giving and powerful, and this is the consciousness of generative change and exponential growth, as individuals and families, as organisations and communities—and as humankind!
As you’ve said before though, Kari, we are at last in the process of change, which has for centuries been in regress. What is required of us as individuals is to look to our own Way of Being and ask: What can I do to positively change the way I perceive the world I live in? Granted, this in itself takes time, and may not be achievable in our lifetime. What’s important is that we consciously seek change in the life we live—and in doing so affect change in the lives of those around us.
Life is like walking a tightrope, where the ultimate purpose is to maintain equilibrium. We start the journey somewhat shakily; trying to balance our ups and downs, love with loss, joy with fear. At some point, if we are ready, we reach a place of calm acceptance in the knowledge that all is as it should be, and each step we take along this tightrope becomes ever more confident than the last. Our world becomes harmonious and in synchronicity with those around us.
Waking up to Gratitude is an awakening to new life, with new possibilities, new opportunities, and yes, new challenges—all of which we welcome as part of our lessons in growth.
When last were your first waking thoughts in the morning those of Gratitude? Perhaps it’s time to begin your day by reflecting upon this. I always advocate the power of meditation every morning (indeed, whenever you are able). It stills the mind of any negative residue from the night before and allows space for controlled language and contemplation of Abundance. Each and every morning, I wake up, make my tea, feed my cats, and then meditate for twenty minutes. Without fail, it makes for a day filled with Love and Gratitude.
How then, from a Kinesiological perspective, Kari, would you advise our readers as to bridging the gap between Ingratitude and Gratitude, and how do we affect change collectively?
When reading your response, Guy, I come to think of a conversation I had a year ago, with a woman who was in a bad place in her life. She had experienced many things in her life that made her feel unloved and alone and she felt a need to express that to someone who was willing to listen.
At one point she told me that I had a very provocative Way of Being that I had to change, because I was always so positive. She told me that to be positive in a world with so much terrible going on was to mock other people’s fight for life!
So, what did I do? I thanked her for being honest with me and apologised for being an optimist and said I’d be more aware in the future!!!
Wow, it actually took me a day or two to realise that there was an unconscious, old program silently running, telling me that I was wrong to be Grateful for life, when I should have known better. That I put my own, naive ego in front, and didn’t see how people were suffering in the world.
That is indeed scarcity! And it taught me a huge lesson, that I use every day, in my work as well—hopefully—in my everyday life. We are so used to living in survival mode, in Scarcity, that when we meet Abundance and Gratefulness for life itself, many people become uncomfortable and feel attacked. It is like there is a need to convince our surroundings of the reason for our Ingratitude, so we can get the support we need to continue whatever we’re doing. When someone pointed out all the things we have to be Grateful for, when they flip the coin and show what’s on the other side, we often simply shut down, stop listening, hold on to our Ingratitude for all it is worth.
I do love what you said about the way you greet each other in Martial Arts! We are indeed each others’ teacher, no doubt about that! And we should really be Grateful, no matter how inequitable we feel the other person is, or persons are, as they only reflect our own inner turmoil.
So, what do we do? I honestly believe that the very first thing to do, is accept that there is only one single person in this world that has our own feelings, our own point of view, our own understandings in life, and that is ourselves.
The next thing is to accept the fact that every feeling we have tells us a story about our vast potential, every single one of them are connected to an experience that was interpreted according to our comprehension at the time it happened. These feelings create our thoughts, words and actions and the more we are willing to let go of old misinterpreted information, the closer we come to your equilibrium, Guy.
Will we ever find the real truth? I don’t think so, as we live as humans, in a three-dimensional physical world. We use our limited comprehension in this reality, to explain the multidimensional reality that is everywhere, and we’re so used to it that we don’t recognise it. Like time. Or how the smell of roses immediately takes you back to the age of four, sitting in the garden with your little kitten. The multidimensional reality has the attribute to change accordingly to our level of comprehension; that is creation, by the way...
There are seven billion people on this Earth, and every single one of us has our own, personal truth that influences others. My personal experiences of this have opened up to a completely different understanding—to the fact that it is possible to sit in my clinic in Arendal, a little town in the South of Norway, and give treatments to people on the other side of the Earth. That is when you truly understand that we’re all energy, we’re all multidimensional and we all have impact upon each other.
The fact that you and I are doing this work is of the same, multidimensional energy, Guy. I am so Grateful that you have been brave enough to make the choices you have, when the time was right, even if you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone, that you let go of old, outdated misinterpreted information, in order to open up for your inner wisdom and now have become a very important part of my life, both as a dear friend and professional colleague!
And this brings me to think of our next topic: Relationships. That is indeed a topic too big to cover in one conversation, as it is a very important part of our growth, but lets give it a try, Guy! Let us take a look at how we are each other’s teacher and maybe open up for the Gratitude that comes when we realise what we have, instead of focusing on Ingratitude for everything we’ve missed.
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