Let me diffuse the mystery behind the acronym right as we start. This post is about moving from Instant Gratification (IG) to Internal Gratification (IG) or Internal Gratitude (IG).
It has been for me a personal journey and continues to be one of finding myself and loving myself. In this quest, I have at times forgotten and am now remembering that the love and approval that I am searching for needs to come from myself. There is nothing for me to look in the outside world, except for the reflection of my inner world. So when I am looking to others for appreciation, approval, praise or any form of external prize, it is really something that I can reach within me and offer myself, in plenty. And I believe that there is plenty- an infinite source of love and appreciation that exists within the depths of who I really am.
In the past, we may have lost focus or even awareness of the fact that the dissatisfaction, pain and hurt that we feel, is really not inflicted upon us by others. In fact, our experience has really not much to do with others. Yes, they serve as reminders and as symbols of our own life experiences and our life path. Yet, I believe that what we make of the situation or from the interaction with a person is a lot about us. There is a wonderful woman in my family and one of her favorite quotes is: "When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade". This is a great way to look at things. To see the potential in any situation and make magic from it, is the gift. So, to realize that the instant gratification I have been looking for is really a deep desire of internal gratitude, is a really a powerful, expanding and enriching realization.
And it gets easier with practice! It seems natural that we should give ourselves the love and appreciation and it is something that is already a part of who we are. It is not so much that we need to learn how to love ourselves (because that is at our core) but about unlearning the ways of self-criticism, self-loating and self-pity that we may need to let go.
It seems that many of us are ready to let go of all of that and dive in deeper into self-love: Love of the truth that is within us.
And Goethe's quote is truly inspirational here: "(S)he who is plentously provided from within, needs but little from without."
So, I invite you to reflect on this. And here is a reflection exercise for you!
1. Take a few minutes to grab a warm cup of tea or juice. Get yourself into a calm and quiet space.
2. Take a few deep breaths. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.
3. Then ask yourself: Have I been looking to the outside world for appreciation, expecting friends, family, colleagues or the world at large to provide me with that which I am looking for - whether it is love, security, respect, prosperity, and so on?
4. Ask yourself: Can I begin to give myself all that I am looking for? And in what ways am I already doing that?
5. Finally, think of 1 thing you can do when you realize that you are searching in the outside world for that which you can provide for from within. Or, think of 1 way you can love yourself more deeply.
It is only a few questions, yet potent ones. And I hope that it will be the seed for a delicious new fruit emerging from your soul, or perhaps it can water the new sprout that is already growing within you. And having said that, it is YOU who is doing all of that and more.
Much much love from the beautiful mountains,