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One of the most wonderful ways we can create peace and abundance in our lives is to focus our attention on gratitude. Gratitude is a word that we most typically associate with thankfulness. When we think of thankfulness, many of us focus on the relationships, conditions, and things in our life that we like and enjoy. Being thankful is a very healthy emotion that helps us to reinforce a positive attitude and maintain balance in life.
But what about all of the things that go on in our lives that we do not enjoy, like: getting sick, losing our jobs, the death of a loved one, the break-up of a close relationship, being injured in a car accident, making a bad investment, or experiencing violence? Are we supposed to be thankful for all of these experiences too, or just the “good stuff?”
This is where the infinitely greater meaning of gratitude comes in. When we are only thankful for things we like, gratitude is an emotion that is contingent on our situation, therefore it is a conditional emotion. When things are going well, we are thankful; when life gets tough, we wait until a time when things feel more optimistic before we express thanks again. The problem with this is that no human being is going to spend life here on earth with only positive experiences. So, if we perceive gratitude in a conditional way, we are quite likely going to have long and frequent periods of time during which we do not feel thankful.
In the spiritual sense, gratitude is an ongoing attitude in which we choose to be unconditionally appreciative for all that is. When we think about this, we realize this is a huge concept. This would mean that we choose to see the blessings in every experience we have, every moment of every day. There is so much pain and suffering in our third dimensional world, as well as a plethora of amazingly challenging, downright unpleasant experiences, so how is it humanly possible to maintain an “attitude of gratitude?”
Developing an attitude of gratitude begins by choosing to remember that absolutely everything we experience and everyone whom we meet is happening for a reason. Even though many times we do not understand things that occur in our lives, every experience we have is offering us the opportunity to become more whole. No matter what is going on, we focus on the perfection within what appears to be a lot of imperfection. Through our thoughts, we call into our life the people and situations that teach us what we most need to know when we most need to learn it. This occurs in both positive and negative ways, depending on how we learn best. For example, if one of our large life lessons is that need to stop giving our power away to others, we will most likely attract controlling personalities into our reality until we figure out how to love ourselves enough to take control of our own life.
When we function in a state of gratitude, we begin to appreciate everything. We are not born feeling grateful – it is a frame of mind that needs to be cultivated through practice. We become thankful for the penny we just found on the sidewalk, the parking spot that just opened up at the perfect moment, the smile of a passing stranger, the roof over our heads, and the food we eat. We begin to see the magnificent wonder of life within everyone and everything. We are thankful for something as seemingly small as the petal on a flower to the magnitude of the miracle of witnessing a child being born. We are thankful for a sunny day and equally appreciative for a rainy day. We express thanks for the unhappy experiences from which we grow, just as much as the happy ones.
When we practice being thankful for all things great and small, we are aligning our thoughts with the frequency of unconditional love; thus, we open ourselves to welcoming abundance at every level – mentally, emotionally, and physically. While some days may be a lot more enjoyable than others, practicing an attitude of gratitude is a perfect way to savor every moment of life.
Love and Light,
Sandra Brossman is the author of The Power of Oneness, Live the Life You Choose. To learn more about how you can align your life with spiritual truth, order the book at http://www.thepowerofoneness.com/products/