Turn Grievances into Miracles


Book cover: The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire by Deepak Chopra

Last week I started re-reading Deepak Chopra’s The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire. It’s an excellent book I read four years ago, about the same time I was planning my exit from teaching and wondering what was next in life. This book gave me much food for thought.


Here I am nearly three years out from leaving teaching and I got in the mood to read it again. As with so many things in life, I was ready to hear the same message again in a new way. As Depak Chopra mentions in this book, sometimes as your consciousness expands you can see new meaning in phrases and ideas you’ve worked with before. I’m definitely not who I was three years ago, and it was time to take in the ideas of this book again.


I’m not going to give you a full book review, although I can say that I very much enjoyed reading this. If this sort of spiritual writing is of interest to you, I highly suggest you get the book and read it yourself. There is a lot to unpack, and I could never summarize it as well as it is written in its original form.


What I do want to talk about is an experience I had this week with one idea that caught my attention.


The second half of this book is centered around sutras that help you connect with nonlocal reality (some might call it unity consciousness) and synchronicity. It’s all about altering your perception of what is possible and letting go of what is holding you back (a topic I've written about before here). In chapter 11 Chopra introduces the reader to the heart sutra. This is a practice that opens you to gratitude by letting go of your resentments. He instructs the reader to practice meditation while saying, “Every decision I make is a choice between grievance and a miracle. I let go of grievances and choose miracles.”


Upon reading this, I thought, “That’s cool, but I don’t have a lot of grievances. I’ve been working through a lot of that in the years since I first read this book.” However, I dutifully did the meditation and then continued to repeat the sutra throughout the day. “I let go of grievances. I choose miracles.”


At first it was just a nice refrain going through my head as I prepared lunch and washed the dishes. “I let go of grievances. I choose miracles.”


It had a nice cadence to it as I repeated it during my walk. “I let go of grievances. I choose miracles.”


Sometimes my mind would wander but I’d catch it and come back to the sutra. “I let go of grievances. I choose miracles.”


As I did the laundry and watered my plants the second day, I continued to repeat it. “I let go of grievances. I choose miracles.”


Woman in apron with hands over eyes, looking surprised.

And you know what I finally realized? If I paid attention to what was grabbing my mind as I said the sutra, it turned out it almost always had a grievance quietly hiding in the middle of it.


“I let go of grievances. I choose miracles.” Stupid gas prices are going up. Just when things seem to be getting better again, now we are facing more supply chain issues again. I thought we were past all this!


“I let go of grievances. I choose miracles.” I can’t believe Jim-Bo posted another political rant on Facebook again today. I wish he’d stop doing that. He’s so clueless.


“I let go of grievances. I choose miracles.” I am so sick of my living situation. Something’s got to change or I’m going to lose my mind. Why can’t I pull myself together? What happened to my ability to make decisions? I feel like a loser!


“I let go of grievances. I choose miracles.” Remember that thing that happened a few years ago? I really handled that badly. I wish I could forget about it, but it keeps coming back.


“I let go of grievances. I choose miracles.” Why am I even repeating these stupid sutras? They didn’t work three years ago. Why do I think they will work now?


“I let go of grievances. I choose miracles.” Ouch, my hip hurts AGAIN? I thought it was healed!!


Oops. Hold on a second. Apparently, I do have a bunch of grievances to deal with. Small grievances. Minor resentments. Some merely complaints or negative thinking patterns. But still present and still apparently filling a lot of tiny spaces in my mind that I hardly even notice.


Once I could actually see the hidden grievances for what they were, then I could choose to let them go. Some were easy (evidently, I was still annoyed at the owner of the AirBnB I stayed at two weeks ago) and others were harder (maybe I should have handled that situation at work differently and perhaps that would have changed the end of my career). Every single one, though, came down to the same choice: Will I keep holding on to this thing that happened/is happening that I have no control over, or will I choose to let it go and allow space for miracles?


I haven’t found anything yet that seems worth holding on to.


Not that all the things I’ve dug up so far are easy to get rid of. I HAVE done a lot of work in the three years since reading this book to get rid of some of the biggest grievances in my life, but even some of the small things are surprisingly sticky. I let them go and then they pop up again the next day. So, I let them go again.


Some have stopped popping up for good (I think). Others still seem to be lurking in the background.


Here are some things I have discovered that I hold grievances about:


What others have done to me. I can’t believe they have left me hanging again. Didn’t I make it clear that I was waiting for their answer to get this done?


What others do in general. That guy is an idiot. Why do people listen to him? Don’t they see he’s just making stuff up to get good ratings? Are people dumb enough to believe that?


Things I have done. I can’t believe I said that. Should I call them up and apologize? Will they even remember it? It was four years ago! But why can’t I let it go? I’m so embarrassed!


Situations that don’t seem to change. We’re two years into this pandemic and rent prices are just getting higher. How am I supposed to find a place to live in this situation?


Things that drive me nuts. You wash the dishes and THEN put your dirty glass next to the sink Every. Single. Night.


Negative thought patterns. Why do I still think this will help? I’ve been trying to do it for five years and it hasn’t worked yet.


Gripes against inanimate objects. I’ve always hated the stupid beeps on my car when I unlock it. Who’s the idiot who designed it that way? It’s a lot of silly stuff, right? I completely acknowledge that. But it’s also why I never noticed that they are grievances. Small grievances that keep me from being grateful.


I have discovered that the more I say the sutra, the more these little grievances wiggle their way out of my brain. I then have the choice to hold on to them or let them go. Most of them are easy to release. A few have been really tough (the ones where I have to forgive myself seem to be the most challenging). But each time, I get to choose between the grievance or the miracle.

Woman at night blowing glowing lights out of her hands.

Not that I have any big miracles to report at this point. Hopefully that is coming up. I did find one of my favorite earrings last night that has been missing for weeks. That felt like a tiny miracle and I choose to be grateful for it.


Holding onto resentments doesn’t change anything. I can’t change what others do or say. I can’t even change what I did or said in the past. Being constantly annoyed at them (or me) doesn’t help at all. The only thing I have control over is my willingness to let whatever annoying/frustrating/rude/hurtful thing that happened go. By doing that, I allow myself to be grateful for what I do have, and I open myself up to the miracle of change in my own life.


I’m also watching to see what takes the place of these grievances I’ve been holding on to. If they spring up so easily when my mind wanders, what will spring up in their place once they are gone? New creative ideas? Surprising decisions? A sudden sense of certainty about what to do next with my life?


So here’s your challenge for this week: Spend some time with the sutra and see what comes up for you.


“I let go of grievances. I choose miracles.”


If it's a little grievance that wiggles its way out of your brain, decide if you want to let it go. Are you willing to choose miracles rather than that petty annoyance?


If it’s a big grievance (and some of our grievances are genuinely massive) you won’t be able to just dump it and move on. The question for you is, can you even consider possibly finding a way to let this grievance go? Are you willing to consider it? If so, how would you go about doing that? Who would you ask for help? For those who have experienced trauma or abuse at the hands of others, even being able to consider the possibility of some day walking away from that grievance is a miracle. Are you willing to take a tiny step in that direction?


After you’ve spent some time with this sutra, see if your ability to be grateful for what is in your life has expanded at all. Are you seeing things in new ways? Do you feel the possibility of miracles hiding around the corner?


If you want to tell me your experience, then contact me through my website or send me an email at katie@harmoniousrenewal.com. I’d love to hear your story!


May we all be able to see through our grievances this week to discover a world of gratitude and miracles!


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