|The happenings in our lives, as everything else in the Universe as we know it, respond to the law of cause and effect. However, the complexity of the world we live in makes it difficult to foresee all the effects that will come to pass as a consequence of the causes that we can identify in the present. Therefore we turn to the ideas of “luck” or “chance” as some sort of explanation for unforeseen events. We know these words involve some degree of surprise, but we also have noticed that people seem to have tendencies towards good or bad “luck” during certain periods of their lives.
When we think of the word “luck” we visualize lotteries, sweepstakes, unexpected surprises, chance and gambling. In the Chinese language the word “luck” has more to do with what will become of the future as a consequence of our past and present actions. This does not imply an illusion that the future can be controlled, but it does indicate that we have a choice of what paths to take in every circumstance of our lives.
Many episodes of what is considered “bad luck” are related to ignorance rather than “fate”, and often have to do with feelings of guilt. For all these reasons, although many Feng Shui texts refer to this area of life as the “Good luck center” I prefer to call it the “Good Fortune Center” because the word Fortune evokes a positive connotation of success and prosperity, another of its meanings. Therefore, it takes our minds away from negative associations of the word “luck”.
Since the future is largely unpredictable, it does no good to even try to control it, but the better attitude is to trust that the Power that created us will take care of us in any given moment, as it has, as it does, right now in the present.
We do our best and we trust, and are grateful for every aspect of our present conditions, even and especially those we do not understand or which cause us suffering. There is something magical, mysterious and unexplainable about the act of Gratitude that transmutes all of our experiences. The act of Gratitude makes choice available to us. Once we give thanks for a particular situation from our heart then we have the choice to preserve it or to let it go. If we resist it, it persists.
When I was growing up and heard people talking about the act of giving thanks, it often seemed as a chore and a bore too.
Remember as a child when somebody gave you something, being nudged by your mother or father while they asked, “What do you say?” That was the cue to say, “Thank you.” Gratitude was reduced to a social grace that needed to be learned in order that other people would think nicely about us. Sometimes saying thanks involved swallowing our pride, acknowledging our weaknesses, our desires or our needs. Somehow the concept of “effort” became associated with gratefulness.
Only as the years passed I came to realize that Gratitude is an act of love. The act of lovingly and joyously accepting the gifts of God and the acts of kindness that others direct our way.
Rejecting goodness out of pride is probably the greatest enemy of the act of Gratitude. A certain humbleness is necessary in order to accept blessings, gifts, help, support, etc. We need to recognize that we do not have everything under control and that sometimes we need other people to support us. We need to accept that every experience is glorious in that it teaches something to us about the world, about humankind and about ourselves.
Do not reject the flow of goodness from your fellow man or woman, even when you consider that you do not need the help that is being offered. In this case, rather redirect their kindness towards somebody else you know who would benefit from it, or joyously accept it and then turn around and help somebody else. Keep the flow going.
Gratitude is defined as a kindly feeling due to a favor received; the desire to do a favor in return; thankfulness. However, we aren’t always in a position to pay back those who have favored us, but we can always pay “forward”. Create a chain of goodness in your community. It will be fun to watch how far it goes.