It's getting to be Thanksgiving, a wonderful American ritual, which originated with the Pilgrims holding a feast to thank the natives for their help, without which they would not have survived in the New World. It's common to say a round of very specific thanks before today's feasts. So I started thinking about thankfulness and gratitude.
People talk a lot about gratitude, and for good reason. Since energy follows thought (this is teh Law of Attraction), and your gratitude increases your attention to those things for which you are grateful, then you get more of those (presumably positive) things.
There is a case to be made for being thankful for the crap, as well. Why? Here are a few reasons:
The crap uncovers beliefs you have, which no longer serve you, which you can then heal, so you no longer attract the crap. For example, if you believe that learning has to be hard, you'll attract lots of difficult situations to learn from. This is a belief! If you choose to believe that "learning is easy" or (my personal affirmation) that "I learn through awareness and joy", then life will get easier almost immediately. Try it and see!
The crap uncovers vows or agreements you've made, which you can then heal, so you no longer attract the crap. If, for example, I vowed, either in this lifetime or in another one, "to never be rich", perhaps because the rich people you saw were evil, then you'll always have money problems in this lifetime. Vows can be identified and broken! Break this one and you're likely to have a more positive relationship with money.
The crap helps you locate places where you have disempowered yourself in your own life. If you were brought up always to respect authority, then you will give your power away, always trusting those with external power, such as political power, even when it is against your best interests. The Republican party consciously took this strategy with uneducated whites, especially in the South -- these were people who were brought up to respect authority, whether it had on clerical garb, a police uniform, or a business suit. The Republicans spoke to them in an authoritative voice, and got them to elect representatives who then voted to ship their jobs offshore. (Don't believe me? Please read John Dean's "Conservatives without Conscience".)
It's important to realize that you have give control of some aspect of your life, however small, to someone else -- and then to take it back, to make conscious choices about how you will govern this aspect of your life. You may, in the end, make the same choices you would have in the past, but by making them consciously, you have the freedom to re-choose if the original choices don't work out too well.
A 'negative' event often opens up room for change, for better things to come in to take its place. As with my friend, Joe, last week, divorcing to end a bad marriage opens up the space for a new, better relationship to eventually take its place.
You can look at excrement as crap, or you can be grateful for it and use it as fertilizer!