It occurred to me that forgiveness and gratitude go hand in hand. You really can't have one without the other. How is it possible for me to appreciatively scan my human landscape if within myself I still seethe with resentment, unresolved issues and grudges? If my meanness is messing with my meaningfulness, is not my gaze distorted and is it not more challenging for me to give a hearty thank you for everyone and everything I presently Am experiencing?

Many, many years ago, I loaned a very dear friend quite a sizable sum of money. The understanding, although loosely agreed upon, was that when convenient some time in the future, the loan would be repaid. I never heard anything further from that friend, not even with what became my repetitive insistence by mail and phone calls that my money be returned. It never happened and for a long time, whenever anyone would ask me, "What ever happened with you and _______?" I would respond with obvious and overt anger and righteous indignation. I always made a point, as I reflect on it all now, of enlisting the support of my inquirers to my side of the issue. I was "done wrong" and poor, little me! Finally, another more enlightened approach entered my realm, when one of my spiritual mentors simply said, "When you're ready to let yourself off the hook emotionally, you'll let your friend off the hook financially. Are you willing to practice the fine art of forgiveness in your own mind and heart, and to convert that foe to a friend?" For the next few weeks I worked with this wise one and through honest self-inquiry, meditation and a conscious shift in my own perception, coupled with a clearer look at the bigger picture, I experienced the freedom of release through setting myself and the other completely free. I subsequently was also able to let the party know, all was forgiven and forgotten and to send them on their way with my personal and honest blessings. A debilitating, long held inner debt that I was holding kept me from experiencing the fuller measure of creative joy and fulfillment which I ultimately welcomed into my life.

So this month is not about being phony and pretentious about the ways in which we dutifully offer up our thanksgiving. It is about the authenticity with which we make amends to ourselves and others for misperceptions and distortions that originate from a lesser sense of ourselves. Instead we can now see through new eyes the greater possibility of the life that the Infinite is forever revealing when we are willing to claim it for our very own.

Take time in your daily meditation and inner envisioning to examine at a deeper level, the following: Ask your Divine Muse within if there is any unfinished business that is lingering, any angry grudges or remorseful regrets that you still harbor in your subjective/subconsciousness about yourself or another. Gently let whatever rises to the surface of your awareness be noted, thus facilitating and inviting the creative process of healing and transformation.
Use the following:

Whatever rises to the surface of my conscious awareness that is an aspect of yesterday's leftovers, I now see them for what they are...the opportunity for my exposing the past to the light of today's higher knowledge of God as me. I respectfully and clearly submit all past indebtedness of thought, memories and perceptions of my own or anyone else's errors, to the light of the Truth of my Being. I Am absolved, forgiven and freed into the high mindedness and brilliant luminosity of the One Perfect Life, Light and Love of the Divine. The lover of my soul absorbs, surrounds and embraces me with compassion, loving kindness and generosity of Spirit, which I now thankfully extend outward to everyone in my life. I forgive myself and all others and I praise the wisdom of the One that lives through and as me, for now providing the ways in which I proceed forward, feeling good and being fine with who I Am and who everyone else realizing that of course, it's all's all God in Action. I give thanks this is so and that this is the way it really is!