The definition of being grateful comes from the Latin word gratus which mean being pleasing, graceful and thankful.
“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”
~ Meister Eckhart
When I am critical, judgmental, resentful, or in any way negative it is very hard for me to be grateful. I discovered that gratitude can only come when I let go of those negative feelings. It is an absolute prerequisite for being grateful to empty oneself first, letting go of harmful emotions, depressing thoughts, and unconstructive habits.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of all the virtues, but the parent of all the others.”~ Cicero 106-43BC
How do we let go of Negativity?
à Harmful emotions
There are several methods today such as The Emotion Code (Founder Dr. Bradley Nelson), The Healing Code, http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Alex-Loyd-Healing-Codes/dp/B000NGRVQC (Founder Alex Loyd, PhD, ND), EFT (Gary Craig, Founder), Emotional Release Therapy, (Walter Weston) etc. I was watching a very powerful video ontapping where the result of emotional release was visible in Life Blood Cell analysis. The pictures were compared before and after tapping. The blood composition was freely flowing after the emotion clearing. To me it is very encouraging, in that we have now scientific proof to how we can quickly release negativity.
“Gratitude is made from two words: great and attitude. If you have a great attitude, you have gratitude.”~ David Leonhardt
à Depressing Thoughts
I am aware that many people today are clinically depressed, and they should by all means seek out a professional therapist. We have to realize that we are NOT our thoughts. For occasional repetitive thought patterns, Richard Petty, of Ohio State University suggests to write those unwanted thoughts on a piece of paper and throw them in the trash can. Just imagining this action is not enough. The study shows very encouraging results, since keeping those pessimistic thoughts would induce stress and stress in unhealthy.
I read a book “What to Say When you Talk To Yourself” by Shed Helmstetter which made me aware of how much we use negative self talk. It is not just enough to use affirmations because the ego always objects anything good and positive. In fact Noah St. John suggests to make statements into ‘Afformations’ which means forming a question such: ‘why am I always so calm?’ “ why am I getting better and better?’ etc. The ego doesn’t get defensive when we ask questions and can easier cooperate with a new direction.
“Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."~ Matthew 9:17
à Unconstructive Habits
We all know that willpower alone is not enough to break bad habits. In this article on ‘Why Will Power isn’t the Answerto Cure bad Habits’ Alex Lickerman, assistant vice president for Student Health and Counseling Services at the University of Chicago, suggests to be realistic with expectations, distract yourself from unwanted behavior, avoid temptations completely, and make good habits easier. Napoleon Hill explains how we can use the nature of Cosmic Habit Force for our advantage to change or remove unconstructive habits.
If you don’t want to deal with any of the above suggestions you can apply good old repentance or confession as a means of letting go. Many people have a wrong concepts about repentance. One leader in our church says that the purpose repentance is freedom. He explains that one can only repent for things which one is aware of. If we don’t understand that we are all sinners, there is nothing to repent for. Once we become more mindful we become more sensitive to our mistakes and shortcomings. Repentance is a powerful tool which brings us in direct contact with the living God.
By having a good cry and feeling sorry, we don’t even have to be specific; repentance can address a broad area of your life. We are all interconnected, part of the same human family. In the Divine Principle we address four sins – original, collective, ancestral, and personal. (#5 SIN)
"A wise person thinks like this: “I have only a short time to live. Within this time I must prepare myself for eternity. The way I live in the next two years will be the model for my eternal life.” Then explode your sense of love. Love God, and love another person as God. For an entire day, 24 hours, pour out your entire energy for someone. If you love a person like this, even though you may die early, you will have made the highest accomplishment in all eternity. Then when God gives you more time to live, your response will be immense gratitude. Push yourself to live more fully. The person who expects death and then is given life dwells in the fullest gratitude."~ Sun Myung Moon
From my perspective that is the whole reason one wants to be grateful anyway. We are living today at an age where we have an incredible amount of Merit of the Age. With the development of human history, mankind’s spirituality has become enlightened throughout the providence of restoration. More people than ever are searching for a deeper purpose of life and exploring the internal spiritual reality. The world is more and more converging to form a single civilization. As the Messiah has returned to the earth in form of True Parents we all benefit from a new standard of their leadership.
Thinking grateful, feeling grateful, being grateful – being grateful requires action. The motivation for action can only come when we make room for it.
Once a person sincerely repents, God's heart is instantly and automatically moved to embrace him. Think of your own heart and how it responds when you hear someone sincerely asking forgiveness. You should always remember the parable of the Prodigal Son.
‘The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now."~ Oprah Winfrey
Since our whole church community is doing a three weeks condition of being grateful, it is good time for myself to reflect on HOW I AM grateful.
Being grateful is only possible in the present moment or as a future determination by projecting oneself in faith for positive goals and values.
I am determined to embrace gratitude; to feel it as deeply as I can, because in so doing, I am actually increasing the odds that a year from now, I’ll all have more for which to be grateful for. On the deepest, unconscious level, gratitude is really about being grateful for the actions that are yet to come.
In conclusion I like to point to some benefits of practicing gratitude. Here is a link to: The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life.
The ultimate goal of practicing gratitude is to elevates our Life To A Higher Frequency, to tune into God’s heart. When we are ready to surrender our ego to God, we will find the highest degree of gratitude. As Mr. Wattles puts it, ‘Genius is the union of man and God in the acts of the soul.’ May we all find that union with our Heavenly Parents.