Gratitude Creates Miracles
Once when I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life, a close friend suggested I write a gratitude list. Only able to focus on the problem at hand, my first reaction was, “What I do have to be grateful for right now?” My friend urged me on and reluctantly, I began to write.
A half hour later, I was amazed at the shift in my perspective and how much better I felt. Not only had my attitude improved, but several days later, my problem was solved. I remember thinking at the time, “Wait a minute. Maybe there is something to this gratitude stuff!”
Often at the Thanksgiving table, surrounded by family and friends, we are encouraged to remember what we are thankful for. Gratitude, however, is something we can choose to acknowledge not just on one special occasion, but all year round. The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to reflect on gratitude.
Gratitude is Powerful
Gratitude is powerful because it’s hard to be in a state of despair, or to feel victimized while we are feeling grateful. Gratitude doesn’t pretend the problem isn’t there; it helps remind us of the ways we’ve already been blessed, and reassures us that more blessings are on the way.
When we perceive a situation from a place of lack, whether it be a relationship, work or our financial situation, we usually feel like everything is going down the drain. Gratitude gives us a foundation to build on; an area where we can say, “There is an area of my life that works.” From that stepping stone, we can build the life we want. For example, we might be thinking, “I really don’t like the way my boss is acting and I hate my job.” But instead we affirm, “I’m grateful for my co-workers who support me every day.”
Use gratitude when something wonderful and unexpected comes into your life—a dream job you’re always wanted, a new relationship or a creative opportunity, for example. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the fear that we will sabotage the good in our lives. Gratitude helps to ground us. By saying, “Thank you,” we are telling Spirit, “I accept abundance. I am open and receptive to all good.”
Gratitude and Relationships
Gratitude can also help save a relationship. In my readings I often get clients who call to tell me what they are not getting from their partner. They only see what the relationship lacks: “He never calls,” or “She can’t communicate without fighting.” Remember, feeling grateful doesn’t mean that we like everything our partner is doing, but it may help us to remember why we fell in love with them in the first place. Instead try, “I’m thankful for her sense of humor,” or “I really love the way he listens.” Gratitude creates a vibrational shift that brings out the best in everyone, whether it be our partners, our friends or our family. Express gratitude for someone you love—they will definitely feel it!
And lastly, don’t hesitate to feel gratitude for you! Many of us have had difficult experiences, and we are so busy judging ourselves for what happened in the past, we forget to appreciate how much we’ve grown. Lovingly and unconditionally acknowledge yourself every day. One of the biggest miracles you will create from gratitude is a wonderful relationship with yourself.
It Doesn’t Have to be Major
A Course in Miracles says, “All expressions of love are maximal.” The same is true for gratitude. Many of us think that something major has to happen in order for us to feel truly grateful. What we are grateful for isn’t as important as the fact that we appreciate what we have—no matter how big or small.
So take out a pen and paper, give yourself 15 minutes, and just start writing. There is no wrong way to make a gratitude list! You can be grateful for the air you breathe, the fact that the sun is shining, for the color green or the friend that made you your favorite food for dinner. You can be grateful for being able to see, to hear or to dance. You can be grateful for your ability to love. There are so many things to be grateful for, you may find you don’t want to stop writing after 15 minutes!