In what ways have you felt gratitude in your life?
It may have been when you experienced that warm feeling of being loved or cared for, or feeling thankful that your current needs were being met.
Feeling grateful feels good, and it can have a positive effect on our health and emotional well-being.
But how do we stay feeling grateful? Sometimes it just feels too hard!
There have been many times I have felt gratitude toward friends who have shown love and care through a kind word of support or a listening ear, or when they have shared their gifts of knowledge or skill to help me. At other times, I have felt grateful and thankful for a roof over my head and the comfort of being in my home; or when I have enjoyed the outdoors and the warmth of the sun and the sound of the birds; or a cup of coffee and chat with a friend. It's in these moments I know I am surrounded by love in many forms, and I feel truly grateful.
It is easy to feel grateful when things are going well, especially when we compare it to more difficult times of pain and discomfort. Pain is often our wake up call when we become complacent in life. A wise person reminded me that it's not possible to experience real joy (and gratitude) without also experiencing the opposite of pain and sorrow.
So do we need pain and sorrow to experience compassion and gratitude? When our situation or circumstances improve it's natural to feel relief and momentary happiness. However it's difficult to remain grateful when feelings of gratitude are not generated from within, but are instead dependent upon how we see the world responding to our needs.
What are the benefits of being grateful?
How do we maintain feelings of gratitude?
Remaining in gratitude every day is perhaps more to do with creating that state from within, rather than being dependent upon external circumstances to create feelings of gratitude.
Being grateful is not just about warm fuzzy feelings that quickly fade the moment the chips are down. It's learning to create peace within and moving from yang energy (pushing out) to yin energy of receiving and allowing. This means being able to accept what is, regardless of our circumstances (the good and the bad), and know that the universe (God and the angels) has our best interests at heart. It's being able to let go, and have faith that Life loves you. It's about trusting and knowing that you are never alone, and that in some shape or form your needs will always be met.
In life we can choose to believe that our experiences can bring opportunities to learn and therefore increase our happiness and gratitude, or we can choose to see our experiences as controlling our state of happiness and allow the seeds of discontent to grow.
Long lasting gratitude comes from the heart, and it comes from a deeper love and appreciation of oneself.
When we are able to see our own value, we are able to have love and compassion for our self. Living in a state of gratitude is no longer dependent upon our circumstances or the actions of other people. Gratitude becomes a way of life, a state of 'being' rather than 'doing' or 'having'. It's the result of trusting, allowing, and being open to receive what is already being offered by the universe for our best interests.
Staying in gratitude is simply learning to 'be' rather than 'do' - being open to receive the love deep within our soul, without thoughts, judgment, or resistance.
Rebecca Gabrielle, author of "The Power of Soul Loving - a spiritual guide to love and freedom".
Rebecca Gabrielle has been able to see the magnificence and truth of people’s souls from an early age. With a background in psychology, counselling, life-coaching, spiritual development, and energy healing, Rebecca has fine-tuned her psychic and intuitive skills to connect with the Divine to receive and deliver messages of unconditional love. Through her writing, soul-coaching and card readings she assists people to reconnect with their true self so they can experience clarity, peace of mind, joy and passion for doing what they love.