December 16: Day 169
Thank: I am grateful. Gratitude helps me bring out the positive in my life and also makes room for The Divine to bring additional positive situations, people, and spiritual experiences into my life. I thank those who have guided me on my path.
Instruction: Be grateful in everything.
Gratitude is something that comes when we understand that nothing is without meaning. Sometimes the meaning seems to elude us for months or even years. Sometimes we might not feel as if we understand why something happened. But when we determine to believe that life is not meaningless and that things happen for a reason, we can make a determined decision to let things unfold and be grateful no matter what. The benefits of gratitude have more to do with our emotional, spiritual, and mental health than they do with any kind of physical reward.
Gratitude is its own reward, because it brings serenity to our lives, and serenity allows graciousness and grace to flow through us to touch those around us. Perhaps the practice of gratitude should have been higher on the list of Stones, but the Stones are not listed in order of importance. Gratitude is a state of mind that doesn’t draw attention to itself but rather draws attention to the kindness, love, and generosity of others. Like love, it does not seek for personal attention or gain. It is not self-centered and does not seek the spotlight for itself but for others.
Gratitude builds bridges between people and can heal relationships. Gratitude is the oil that makes things work more smoothly and reduces friction. The simple practice of saying “Thank you” is powerful. At times, we might want to show our gratitude in more substantial, physical ways such as repaying a kindness, but gratitude doesn’t expect or demand such repayment, or it wouldn’t be gratitude. We appreciate young people who are kind to others and when they express their gratitude openly. We know that they will make a positive difference in the world. We appreciate our elders who not only teach us about gratitude but who also demonstrate it in their lives. Perhaps the world doesn’t really change when we are grateful, but it seems to make it a kinder, gentler world, and what’s the harm in that? If we can benefit simply by being grateful, then we might want to take advantage of this simple act of appreciating what other people and our Higher Power has done and is doing on our behalf. Gratitude is a practice that can be incorporated into our lives simply by choosing to make it important.
Today’s Assignment is to take a moment to look at this practice with fresh eyes and imagine how it could benefit you and those you love. Look for opportunities throughout your day to practice gratitude.
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