The Gift of Gratitude
Thank you. It’s two words that we use so often in our lives, but do we really mean them?
Cultivating ‘an attitude of gratitude’ is something that is often talked about amongst spiritual seekers, and yet many of us don’t really show true gratitude on a daily basis. We say thank you almost by rote, but the words carry no real power, and the recipient feels no benefit. There is an expectation that food should be on the table, we should have a roof over our heads, and others should help us if we need it. It is actually rare that we stop and give true thanks for all that we receive in our lives.
But why is gratitude so important, and how can being thankful and consciously practicing gratitude affect our daily lives?
Let’s begin by looking at what happens when we don’t show gratitude. This could be described as a feeling of entitlement, and actually separates us from the world around us and our true nature. This is because, when we believe that something is, or should be, ours by right, we lose sight of the fact that we actually own nothing. Everything in life is a gift provided to us by the Source. This is why, when people move through life with a sense of entitlement, they can never experience true peace and joy. This only comes from surrendering expectation, and being empty, present, and in an open state. From this place, we realise that ‘we’ as individuals, are part of a greater web of connectivity, a greater Self if you will. When this is truly seen, it is known that a greater force is actually providing everything for us. This is true whether the individual person knows it or not, but when it is truly understood at the deepest level, gratitude and humility are natural responses and our behaviour is born of them.
This understanding can be cultivated through introspection and meditation, as well as actually practicing thankfulness. A good mantra to repeat to yourself everyday is ‘Thank you’. Just take a few minutes to sit and repeat the words to yourself. If you can do it verbally, that is even better. Send this thank you to your own heart, to the world around you, for everything in your life. Even if you don’t feel you have anything to be thankful for, just repeat it anyway. The very act of saying the words will change your vibration and your energy field.
If you practice gratitude every day, you will begin to experience yourself as more connected to the world around you. Although it might feel like it at times, the world is not your enemy. The world is responding to you based on your own level of consciousness, and if you feel that the world is a dangerous place and you are filled with anxiety, it will often behave in this way, and reinforce your preconception. Conversely, if you change your energetic vibration, and see the world from a deeper part of yourself, the world will literally appear and behave differently, and ’miracles’ will begin to occur in your life; problems will disappear on their own, and you will experience more joy, love, peace and spontaneity. All of these experiences are in harmony with your true, authentic nature.
From this place, gratitude will no longer need to be consciously practiced, as it will come forth from your heart naturally, as you appreciate the beauty and magnificence of the world, and all its gifts.