Thursday, August 1, 2013

Gratitude and the Inner Batreaux

While playing the video game The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword I guided Link through a graveyard to try to find a lost little girl.  Turns out this lost little girl was just playing with her demon friend.  The demon introduces himself as Batreaux.  Batreaux says that he can turn back into a human if enough Gratitude Crystals are formed.  Gratitude Crystals are formed when good deeds are done and people feel appreciation for the good deeds done for them.

Batreaux the demon is... a strangely happy demon.
What's interesting is that while Batreaux is still a demon, there are many dangers in Skyloft at night.  The domesticated Remlits (cat creatures) are aggressive and territorial at night.  Bats will attack you and so will glob creatures.  When enough Gratitude Crystals are collected, Batreaux turns back into a human and the dangers that once plagued Skyloft are gone.  Even the Remlits become docile and friendly.

In my own life, I've come to see how I need to express more gratitude to get rid of the spiritual dangers in my life and keep my own inner demons at bay.

The challenge for me when it comes to expressing gratitude is that I want to give my negative emotions a voice.  If I'm disappointed, sad, or angry about something, I want it to be known.  The thing about whining or murmuring is that the viewpoint is focused on negativity and it's prideful.  When I whine, I want my viewpoint and pain to be known and I want to share my misery with someone else.  I'll feel cheated if someone else doesn't see it how I see it and refuse to feel better because of it.  I used to think that any expression of pain and negative emotions had to be murmuring.  Thankfully, I was wrong.

What I've found is that negative emotions and pain is important to be felt and expressed.  What makes mourning different from murmuring is that there's a greater perspective in place.  Mourning loss acknowledges any hurt feelings I may have.  When I mourn I'll allow myself to cry and yell without judgment.  I let the feelings take it's course.  What I've found is that when I allow my feelings to be heard, I'll have peace and that's the perfect time for me to choose to express my gratitude.

It's easy for me to feel like the world is against me and that the cards are stacked against me.  The thing about gratitude is to recognize my trials as blessings and express gratitude even for the smallest blessing in my life.  About two years ago, I got into a card accident that totaled my 2006 Scion tC.  I love that car.  The car was affordable and pretty hot too.  I was so sad that I lost the car.

Human Batreaux looks... the same.
Looking back, I can definitely see how it was a blessing in my life.  Since then, I got a bigger and more practical car that has been wonderful to me.  My Toyota Matrix helped me to move up to Utah with all of my stuff.  If I still had my Scion I would have had to sell most of my artwork and get rid of most of my stuff.  At the time, I was very unhappy that I lost an awesome car.  Today, I'm thankful to even have a set of reliable wheels and made the smart decision to buy a reliable vehicle.  There's a lot of students and people my age that don't have any wheels at all.

Like many of the more inspirational posts that I write, this post is almost more for me than it is for you, the readers.  In Zelda, Batreaux just wants to connect with other people but won't be accepted in his demon form.  In some ways, murmuring puts walls between us and other people and denies us real connection with them.  Expressing gratitude and thankfulness for what we are blessed with in our life humanizes our inner Batreaux and allows us the freedom to make real connection.

I have a lot to be thankful for.  I have a great internship, a solid job, a promising future, and loyal family and friends.  Yeah, I can have a bad day from time to time.  I'm grateful for the opportunities those days bring to help me appreciate the good days and things in my life.  I hope you find some inspiration to find the blessings in your life and change your own inner demons.

 Verily I say unto you my friends, afear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give bthanks; (D&C 98:1)


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