Gratitude is so important. So undervalued as a meaningful way of seeing life. When we are grateful, we are humble. When we thank someone for the things they do, or even for their simple presence in our lives, we are expressing our acceptance of life as it occurs, despite the many things that upset us and make life seemingly more difficult. The simplicity of thankfulness is profound and hearkens back to the Garden and the state of innocence exemplified by all who live within the loving embrace of the Divine.
This grace in the face of life as lived is acceptance of good and bad and of who and where we are at that very moment. In our minds we see ourselves as flawed but through Heaven’s eyes, we are perfect. God does not make mistakes. The flaws we think we see in ourselves and others are the result of our own misperceptions and errors in judgment. Knowing this, fundamentally, and expressing this acknowledgment through gratitude, is the simplest and most effective way of remaining grounded in reality rather than the subjective and illusory perspectives we create and live in every day.
Gratitude requires heart-centeredness. Without living from the heart, the feeling of intense peace and joy that gratitude inculcates is not present. The thought of gratitude, is not the feeling of gratitude. To simply say the words in our minds, is not enough. It is necessary to feel them, to open one’s heart and allow the feeling of compassion, of connection, of united purpose in being, to suffuse one’s self and to awaken the heart of oneness that exemplifies the soul awakened to the reality of our fundamental interconnectedness and complicity of existential beingness. This opening of the heart is fundamental to the awakening of true awareness and of stepping firmly and irrevocably upon the path of spiritual awakening.
Gratitude is indeed the acknowledgement of oneness, of unity in diversity as we bear witness to the reality that we are not separate from others or the world. That we are all in this together, experience the same emotions, the same lessons in one form or another. That the person I perceive as my enemy is on the same journey with me as the person that I see as my friend. That we are bound together in this life for reasons beyond our full understanding, but that this is as it should be. That the plight of that stranger is my own plight – to greater or lesser degrees – but that this shared perception connects us as we grow in experience and understanding and move from one state of awareness to another.
My prayer is this: I am grateful for my life and for all life, for the roof over my head and the comfort of others, for the food in my belly and the sustenance of the world. I am grateful for my family, for my friends, for my life in good times and bad, because I know that every single thing that happens is a result of my beliefs, my thoughts, words and actions. I am grateful for the ability to be, to make choices and grow in knowledge and wisdom at this stage of my understanding, as I continue my walk upon this eternal path of personal spiritual evolution with others similarly tasked and grateful for all that Was, Is and Ever Shall Be.