Gratitude Is More Than Just Saying “I’m Grateful”
What is gratitude? For most people, practicing gratitude means taking some time during the day or at the end of the day to list things that you are grateful for. And this is great. This is a great practice. But we have been on this spiritual awakening journey together for a while now, and I feel it’s time to take things to the next level.
What is it that you are grateful for? It’s always for gifts that existence is giving you. But why do you only take a small amount of time during the day to practice the gratitude? For most people, it’s because they cannot see the gifts that existence is giving them until they force themselves to identify some of these gifts. People have been so conditioned to be negative, to experience their own suffering, to have a pessimistic view of life, and so it is a big effort, a big struggle, particularly at the beginning to take time to recognize that you are receiving gifts, even amongst apparent negativity. But existence is always giving you gifts. It is always giving you exactly what you need in the present moment to experience what you’re supposed to experience. The air you breathe is a gift from the trees. The water you drink is a gift from the rivers. The food you eat are gifts from the plants. Heat and light are gifts from the sun. The very fact that you have something to walk on is a gift from the earth. All the sights, smells and sounds are gifts from existence to you. Even your challenges are gifts; they’re gifts to help you grow and learn. You are constantly receiving gifts all the time from existence, and so gratitude starts with recognizing the fact that you are receiving gifts all the time from existence.
But then how do you repay existence for all these gifts? How do you really show your appreciation for them? Is it by taking 5-10 minutes in your day to say I’m grateful for this, I’m grateful for that? Well, this can help incite the feeling of gratitude for a short time, what is it that existence really wants from you? Let’s say you are a parent and you buy a present for your child, or you take them to a nice day out. If they are spending that time not enjoying the present or not enjoying the day out, and saying things like, “I want to be doing something else” or “I want to be somewhere else”, but then they come to you at the end and just say to you, “I’m grateful for the present”, would you feel like that was worth it? Would you feel like their gratitude is sincere? Instead, what if the child really enjoys the present or enjoys the day out, and lives the experience fully, totally, and you can see it is making their day. You can see the joy in their face and within their whole being. Even if they don’t say thank you afterwards, you know that they are extremely grateful for that experience or for that present. And you will be really happy. You wouldn’t care about whether they say thank you or not. And this is exactly the best way to repay existence for all the gifts that is giving you. First, you must recognize all the gifts that life is giving you, and then you must enjoy them fully, live each present moment fully and totally, not wanting to be somewhere else or doing something else. By doing this, existence will be extremely pleased.
One final note on gratitude; many people say they are grateful for this or grateful for that after their first compare themselves to other people. They say things like, “There’s always someone who is experiencing something worse than me so I’m grateful for what I have”. “There are homeless people in the world so I’m grateful for the roof over my head”. “There are people who are starving in the world so I am grateful for the food I eat”. This is a very, very low-dimensional way of giving your gratitude to existence. Firstly, comparing yourself to others never leads to any high vibration or any high-vibrational feelings. Really, your gratitude is out of fear. When you first compare yourselves to others, your subsequent gratitude is based on you being fearful of being like them. So you count yourself lucky. You say you’re grateful but, really, within those words of gratitude is your fear that existence may not give you what you need in the future. You still feel existence, or the Divine, can suddenly turn against you in any moment. You don’t need to compare yourselves to others to be grateful. In fact, I encourage you not to. If you really want the high-vibrational feeling of true gratitude then just enjoy the moment fully. Do not compare yourselves to others. Do not wish to be elsewhere and you will know what to gratitude really is. If there was no one else to compare yourself to, would you still be grateful? If there’s no one else who’s going through a worse time than you does that mean you shouldn’t be grateful? Does your gratitude have to depend on other people’s suffering? Of course not. You’re always receiving gifts no matter how much the mind tries to convince you otherwise, and no matter what other people are experiencing.
So I hope these words have helped you take your gratitude to the next level and make it your permanent state of being. Thank you.