Yesterday, I was angry with God. I thought, why must it be so hard? Is it because I am black, or is it because I am a woman?
And I know that this is not so. Because God does not reward, nor punish people, neither with good, nor with bad. Neither does God punish our enemies on our behalf.
We attract to ourselves, all that we experience.
And some may say, “well you can say that, because you always seem to have something to be grateful for in your Gratitude Journal.” And I would tell them, “I remember the day I spent eight hours in meditation, deciding whether I wanted to be a successful failure, whether I wanted to call up on all my “bad” experiences, my childhood, and make it my life story. I did not! Because I would be living a lie.
When they told me, that as a child I use to wash a basin of clothes by myself, and that I was abused, I did not remember that. What I remembered was, washing a basin of clothes by myself, and listening to the release of Nelson Mandela on my Walkman while tears of joy streamed down my face. That is what I remember, and I would not give that experience up, for a million dollars. Well, maybe one million.
When they told me that I use to eat half a chicken wing as my dinner, and that was unfair, I did not remember that. What I remembered was skipping, not walking or running, up the road to buy one pound of chicken-backs, and having just enough, to buy a chocolate bonbon biscuit, which I enjoyed to the fullest. Then skipping back home, singing, then picking every leaf in the back yard, green bananas, breadfruit and limes from the garden to make the most awesome meals. I would not give up the fact that I have learnt to cook like any master chef for a million dollars. Well, maybe if it was a direct debit.
When I did not see, or speak to my mother, for seven years, such that I could not even call her mommy, on her reappearance in my life, I was supposed to be sad, to be damaged, to never forgive or forget. But all I remembered was, me having imaginary concerts in the backyard, by myself, singing and dancing with the trees, to vintage Soca and conscious reggae. I would not give up the blessing of having an open mind, not hampered by parental influence, for a million dollars. Well, maybe if it was in cash.
When I did not grow up with my father, I was supposed to be damaged. I should have had daddy issues, but I did not. I could not claim that, and not be living a lie. Because even though I have seen my father for a handful of days in my life, and spoken to him even less, I learnt from him one of the greatest lessons of my life. I learnt that I had to take care of myself and not to depend on another to do that. That, is a million-dollar lesson.
When my friend Andrea Marcellin and I use to feed all the members of our church on Sundays, and stay without food, because there was not enough, I should have felt hungry, depressed and poor. But I did not. I remembered the joy of peeping to see everyone clean off their plates, then chatting and laughing until evening service. Would I give that up for one million? Well, maybe if it was a bank transfer.
I should have developed an inferiority complex when they told me that I was neglected. When they said your mother should have taken you to the dentist. But I did not feel that way, even though I never smiled through school, it never stop me finding love. I have been blessed to have been in love and to have been loved. So, I cannot give up my experiences and claim to have a sad story. Because I do not.
Even though they say, “sad story sells,” I have been happy. With the little I’ve had, I have been happy. Many people try to get rich in the hope of gaining happiness, only to realise that money cannot buy happiness. So, when you have happiness, be careful how much you accept, in return for your happiness.
We have come to life to gain experiences, to live, and to be happy, if you have that, you are already half way there. Rise above your sad stories, leave them behind, do yourself a favour, and be happy. It is the best gift, you can give to yourself and the best offering, you can bring to your God.
Joyce Louison (Always Grateful)
New Thought Movement UK