Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Why be grateful?

Why be grateful?

Some may think I am a bit late writing about gratitude and should have done so a couple of weeks ago on Thanksgiving.  But I avoided doing so quite deliberately.  It is very easy for us to restrict positive feelings and actions to certain seasons and then ignore them for the rest of the year.  Some of my readers who are in the United States may do that with giving thanks on Thanksgiving.  Some of my Christian readers may do that with a whole range of positive feelings and actions, including gratitude, at Christmas.  And some of my Muslim readers may do something similar during Ramadan.

Gratitude is not simply for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Ramadan.  It should be something we all practice every day.

When I asked the question "why be grateful?", how did that make you feel?  I would expect many readers immediately to think of things for which they are very grateful, even if it is "only" for the gift of life.  But others may have felt something negative.  We all experience low periods in our lives at some point, and if I happened to catch you in a low point in your life you may have reacted by thinking of all the bad things that have happened to you recently.  You may be tempted to say something like "it's all very well for you to tell me I should be grateful, but you don't know what I am going through right now!".  If that is you, let me say that you are quite right.  I do not know what you are going through, but I am really sorry you have to face it and I will hold you in the Light.  But also I can assure you that if you sit still, take a deep breath, and calm your mind you will find lots of things for which you should be grateful.

Assuming you have now identified the many things for which you should be grateful, let me ask you another question.  Why do you need to be grateful at all?  Why not just accept those things as your right and not bother to be grateful at all?

If you are at all religious you may simply say that God, or whatever else you may call the Supreme Being, requires this of you.

OK, that may be true, but I think it is also a bit of a cop out.  Is there any logical reason for being grateful, above and beyond what your religion may say?

There are many good reasons to express gratitude.

Firstly, if you express your gratitude out loud, to whoever deserves it, this can have tremendously positive results.  Positive feedback encourages the person who has done something good to do even more good.  Many people can then benefit from this, including perhaps yourself as well.  All for the small "cost" of saying thank you in a way that shows you genuinely mean it.  The world in which we live can be almost hell on earth or heaven on earth, often simply from the way people around us behave.  Your "thank you" to one of those people can be infectious, changing not only the way that person behaves but also the behaviour of the people around them too.  So the end result of your simple expression of gratitude could turn someone's hell into heaven.

Secondly, whether or not you say "thank you" out loud, if you feel really grateful for something this will be noted by your subconscious.  Now that subconscious is a very powerful entity.  If it recognizes that you are grateful for something it will try to give you more of it.

Just think a little about this second reason.  Think about some of the things for which you are grateful.  How would you like to have even more?  Isn't that a good feeling, knowing that all the good things you have in your life can keep growing and attract other, similar good things to you?

If you have been following my blog for some time you may remember that I have encouraged you to list all the things for which you should be grateful.  Try that now.  This should be a really long list.  If it is not, then there is something very wrong.  Now look at each item on the list and imagine having more of it or attracting to you something else that is very similar.  Then remind yourself that if you keep expressing gratitude for this thing, that is exactly what will happen.  Your life will get better and better.  Isn't that a great reason to be grateful?

Try this today, right now!  Start expressing your gratitude and see what a difference it makes in your life!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this great advice. Live your life with gratitude and love. You'll inevitably find joy, contentment and success.