By Wendy Strgar
“When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren’t grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” ~ Cynthia Ozick
Communication is the currency of all relationships, literally the substance that drives us toward or away from people. Couple that with the fundamental and universal need we all share for being seen and valued and you get a glimpse of the powerful alteration that takes place when you express gratitude.
Our attention is our most powerful resource and shining that light with gratitude upon the people and events in our lives, even when they challenge us, changes the trajectory of our experience. Fear is vanquished in our gratitude, and problem solving acquires a serendipity that resolves the how in ways that were not previously evident. Gratitude expressed literally re-shapes the world.
Meister Eckhart wrote, “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” Some days when I am groping for the path back to a grateful way of being, I will simply start to repeat the word thank you and look around—noticing details, appreciating the small things, such as a seasonal change in the scent of the air, or the comfort of a steaming cup of tea. The easy banter of high school boys in the back seat of the car, or the joy of my dog on her walk. The more I say thank you aloud to these little events, the more there is to say thank you for. A foul mood hasn’t a chance against the power of gratitude expressed.
Expressing gratitude is the doorway to receiving goodness and love, and there is not another single human act that so fully embodies gratitude at its peak as profound lovemaking. This is where we know most deeply the sensation of gratitude, not as a thought, but as a visceral response. Like joy, gratitude springs from us in a creative burst with a single purpose—to do good. As we embody this profound change agent of connectivity, gratitude cracks our heart wide open and fills us. We are loved. We are able to love. Dare to express this intense gratitude within the confines of your bedroom the next time it is flowing, and be prepared for the most gratifying sex of your life.
Beginning within your own body, gratitude explodes with a cascade of chemical reactions that occur with perfect synchronicity to open you to the remarkable and transformative experience of orgasm. Our capacity to give and receive pleasure in our body is just short of miraculous. Consider and savor the moments when goodness fills the body: Nourished, strong, rested and satisfied. Appreciating the clarity of these moments, at peace in a human body is ecstatic. Sharing this body moment with someone you love is an epiphany. To be loved for yourself, in spite of yourself, deserves the highest praise and gratitude.
Bringing a solid relationship and a healthy body together in a warm bed makes ecstatic intimacy new, over and over again. The magical mystery of making love is nothing if not a dance of gratitude. How and why we do the things that our libido awakens in us, in the most primal region of our brain, we can’t explain to ourselves, let alone anyone else, but it doesn’t matter. When you are safe to be yourself, or whoever else comes to mind between the sheets, you let go and follow instinct gratefully.
The visceral experience of pleasure is a close cousin to gratitude, if not its twin. Giving and receiving are interchangeably gratifying. Opening to the wondrous and indescribable sensations that only intimate pleasure creates offers a new universe of sensation. Experience, time and space of the inner and outer realities are indistinguishable. Touch is a language with all the nuance, depth and meaning that words convey, maybe more. The expression of gratitude without words changes how you look at each other.
System reset. That is what grateful sex does. Every nerve fiber is soothed, the connections between heart, mind and body are restored and balanced. The calm that settles in the space between is more than just a relief. It is finding center, the truth of why you are together. Gratitude transforms, and nowhere more deeply than in the body, between two bodies in love.
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