The last 2 days have been a great day for me & my family. Until two days ago, I was unable to control or ignore the ‘Noise’ that have entered my comfort zone. These noises are the most common and yet the most annoying because they are like the soldier ants that come out of nowhere and seem to have the power to gather more and more soldier ants to taste the bittersweet Me. These are complaints, criticsm and condemnations. Since we hear and experience this everyday, the second I get to enjoy Me in my comfort zone, I am not willing to let anything to disrupt my peace. That is a right I can exercise but it leads me nowhere. I become protective and helpless at the same time. Although I have read about how important it is to be grateful for the things that we have in life, when ‘noise’ enters, I become uncomfortable again and start to battle with it. l start to complain, criticize and condemn. I forget how to be grateful.
But two incidences happened yesterday that totally changed my perspective towards gratification. There were two incidences that happened but let me explain with just one that taught me this valuable lesson. (I think I shall reserve the second and more valuable lesson for my next eBook.)
You are only grateful if you are willing to let go of your egocentric state of mind AND declare the things or people you’re grateful for. When you are willing and ready to let go, you will feel an emotional and spiritual shift that elevates you to a higher level. This releases some sort of positive energy to your comfort zone which helps to expand it further thereby allowing you to reach that positive mindset you’ve created. Then and only then will you start to experience greater comfort without having to step out of it at all.
Natalie (not her real name) and I went for a walk to the reservoir near our residence. Natalie has a daughter who will be sitting for her PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination) in 2014. She started talking about her lousy weekend with her family.
Her daughter has been receiving tutorship for Mathematics for the past 3 years but her results have not improved dramatically. Her recent results show that she is still stuck at just above passing grade. So Natalie decides to seek alternative help. Her daughter refuses to listen because she likes the way her present tutor explains concepts. Natalie, however, is upset because the results have not improved.
The more we talked about this, the more emotional and frustrated Natalie became. She started talking about her daughter being slow at thinking and preparing herself for any activity. I said, “That means she still needs you. If you keep addressing this problem as if she needs to decide, you are suggesting that she has the problem and you don’t. But why are you so worked up and she is not? She is happy with the present tutor and that is where she wants to be. You can’t judge her for that.” Natalie picked up pace as I said this, and her arms began to swing harder. I had touched her emotional buttons. Natalie then threw her hands in the air and let off a tearful shout, ” Then how!! PSLE is coming . She doesn’t seem to care.” l quickly hugged her close because she was at the verge of breaking down. “PSLE is a year away dear.” I managed to calm her down later and we carried on walking till we arrived at our block.
The lesson I learnt about gratification here is not from what Natalie had said about her struggle to prepare her daughter for PSLE. You see, Natalie’s mother lost her mother a few years ago and her father years before that. She has an elder sister, her only blood relative. Her husband goes out to work everyday.
I still have my mother, 2 siblings, my husband and daughter with me all the time. As I was preparing my daughter for PSLE, I became a total wreck. I couldn’t enjoy the company of anyone because they couldn’t help me. I could have told them PSLE would be harder than they thought it would be. l couldn’t because I knew they wouldn’t understand. But what I didn’t do was not to allow the positive energy which comes from their presence to expand my strength and widen my comfort zone so that I can uplift my emotional spirits and create more positive energy. Instead I got stuck in a frame of mind that made me really upset and frustrated. I went through the year almost broken to pieces, losing hair and sleep.
Thanks to Natalie, I finally understood how to experience gratification. Just writing a list of things that you are grateful for does not constitute gratification. The results you hope to achieve from recognising and acknowledging or even declaring gratification has to come from within. You have to be totally immersed in the act of gratification. Feel the shift in emotional spirit that churns out positive energy, which upon its release, you will feel lightheaded and recharged. Only then can you move forward with the positive Mindset you’ve created. The heart and mind must be aligned to use this positive energy and expand your comfort zone. Not only do you not have to step out of your comfort zone, you actually expand it, giving you more space and room to act outwardly with greater ease.
I feel smarter and wiser. If ever I want more space, I can choose to declare how grateful I am for having my family close to me despite the noises that come along with their presence. I choose to ignore the noises. Family is important and more importantly is their presence. We often think that when they start to complain, condemn and criticize, we should agree with them because they are family. NO! We need only embrace their presence and disassociate ourselves from the negatives that they may bring along. If we can do that, we are able to feel that shift I mentioned earlier, expand our comfort zone and go to a higher level of success. That is how gratification works.