The word comes from the Latin word “gratus” which means “thankfulness and pleasing”.
This is the time of Thanksgiving, the practice and celebration of gratitude for food, gifts, connecting with people and engaging in conversations. Everyday is a time for celebrating gratitude in small measures because it leads us in an experience of being alive, preventing us from exhaustion or killing the mind of compassion.
Gratitude enables us to realize that we are part of a larger context in which our personal stories are unfolding. It softens our heart, directs our view towards what is meaningful and builds greater capacity for forgiveness and appreciation for the interdependent nature of our existence.
We often tend to focus on the negative aspects of our experiences which can lead to a distorted view of what is actually happening, undermining in the process any attempt of empowerment and literally deadening the realm of possibilities.
Gratitude is a powerful antidote for our emotional chaos, occasional despair, depression, self defeating feelings and behaviors. It also gives us strength to be with people who habitually tend to only notice things that go wrong or the abundant deficiencies that occur, maybe for a short time only…
Meditating on gratitude helps us drop the feeling of loss, envy, scarcity, even jealousy and releases us from the fear of always wanting more than we have.
Reminding ourselves of what we are grateful for doesn’t deny life’s daily difficulties and challenges on our planet, troubled times, uncertainties about the future as well as disappointments and betrayals. However the practice will lift the veil of gloom and doom and shift our attention toward what we can create or co create with others, rather than feeling powerless.
It is beneficial to pay attention to all the benefactors who visibly or invisibly serve us with material, intellectual, emotional, energetic and wisdom gifts.
Remember your lineage, all those who came before us and have made it possible for our existence to be comfortable, informed, meaningful and rewarding. May we also be grateful for those who have created less than ideal circumstances for us. In a state of gratitude we are able to see that their pain and suffering, joy and contentment is and how it is all part of a mysterious whole.
Remember, when we practice gratitude and receive graciously, we are giving someone else the opportunity to be generous.