Marcus Cicero, Roman Philosopher, considered gratitude as the mother of all virtues – and wasn’t he absolutely right when such warm feeling is a beautifully authentic driving force for connecting people among themselves, and also the individual to the divine? Gratitude brings to our hearts and souls a feeling of true appreciation, kindness and thankfulness, enlightening us with a blissful and friendly feeling towards the person who deserves and awakened our gratitude.
Ultimately, it means our hearts are driven to a deep state of harmony with our outer and inner realities, and even if for a brief second or for a small cause, a tremendous explosion of positive energies floods our lives. But sometimes we forget how great of a virtue gratitude is, and how powerful it is to change reality around us into something much brighter by opening our hearts to the divine frequencies that are willing to synchronize back again with us.
What is gratitude?
The expression of appreciation one shows through gratitude is usually manifested through sentences such as “Thank you” or “I really appreciate”, and more often than it should, this happens out of sheer politeness and social etiquette rather than being a true emotional mirror.
Even though such protocol does wonders for keeping the social wheels running, true gratitude is something different, and being really thankful to someone has much greater personal significance, for one exists simply due to good manners, while the other has authentic meaning and soulful manifestation – being thankful to a person who gave you assistance on a store’s customer support is much different from the warm feeling of gratefulness one experiences when a friend comes over to help us in times of need, or when life has beautiful surprises waiting for us along the path.
To properly cultivate gratitude is one the most important virtues a person can have, for it means we are perfectly aware and grateful for things that we often fail to even notice, be it the deep green color of a field of grass, the safety of having a solid roof over our heads, or the unconditional support given by someone who really loves us. To find gratitude when life brings us tough challenges can tremendously reduce our levels of stress and depression, while increasing at the same time our strength when future challenges come, because such pure feeling teaches us ways to change our perspective and makes us aware of how abundantly blissful each moment is.
In its purest form, gratitude has no sense of dependency or attachment because it simply opens our hearts to their maximum capacity, making us absolutely connected to the reality that surrounds us and each being we’re sharing it with, making the feelings of seclusion and isolation disappear. When we become grateful for both the trivial and the divinely meaningful and even for the bad moments in our lives, our soul becomes permeable and we start to be aware of all the little ways in which we all are connected to the whole picture as one single layer of existence.
When that happens, every moment turns into something magical, and synchronicity is revealed with ease, making a rippling peaceful wave around us. Gratitude can be seen as the best exercise for the heart and soul, keeping both in great shape and open for everything that might come your way.
Don’t remain silent when you’re grateful – Express it!
Every moment of gratefulness that isn’t expressed is an opportunity of giving love that is lost forever, and a possible life change that won’t happen anymore. So why would you stay silent when the chance comes to bring radiance to someone else’s life and to yours as well? Here are some tips on how to practice your gratitude skills:
- Start the day showering yourself with gratitude
Dedicate one or two minutes in the morning exclusively to think of the persons that made something you are thankful for, and all the things that happened or are happening in your life that you’re grateful for. It might sound too little of a thing to bring any results, but if you make a ritual out of it, you’ll notice how it makes your day start much better and ready to face it with a positive smile on your face – one minute to change your whole life.
- Be grateful for the great challenges that come your way
It’s pointless to regard something hard to accomplish as a bad thing, or to have negative and self-hatred thoughts the moment something goes wrong, for nothing good can come out of that. It’s much wiser to be thankful for the challenge at hands and acknowledge that it brings an opportunity to learn from it, to grow and become a better person. Do you really want to be a constant complainer that always fails to realize how important challenges and failures are for personal improvement? Be grateful for having opportunities to improve!
- Always look at the bright side of life
Why should you take greater notice of what your life is lacking rather than at what it has brought you? Some people take a brief look around them and become depressed about how little they have accomplished – their house is not the same as the one they dream about, nor is their car fast enough and sporty looking; and all their friends have the latest gadgets and fancy jobs… Why not to look at it from the bright side? While you complain about your house, there’s someone living on the streets; while you complain about all the material objects you don’t have, someone would love to simply have a warm sweater. And while you complain about your job, understand that in some countries (and probably in yours) people are working twice more than you do to earn not even a half in the end of the month!
When you have the empathy and gratefulness to compare your life with the persons who are having a much tougher time than you, with it comes the awareness that you actually have all that you need and happiness is not at a distance, it’s already all around you.
- Love, don’t hate
One should look at the good things that others have in their hearts, especially one it comes to marriage or a passionate relationship, for nothing else can turn them into something too beautiful to ever be forgotten. By taking more time to criticize than to show love, one starts deteriorating what used to be a perfectly harmonious relationship.
The right thing to do is to talk about whatever troubles or annoys you regarding your loved one. Instead of taking the momentum that a rush of impatience and anger gives you and simply bombard your husband or spouse with things that should be said in a much more delicate and thoughtful way, take some time to breathe slowly and deeply and then talk in a respectful and caring manner.
And then you can end the conversation by showing that even though some things are not perfect, there are countless other things you’re tremendously grateful for. Express how thankful you are for having your loved one in your life and see how that positively affects the way in which future issues will be dealt and solved – because we all learn by example, so always give to others what you also expect from them. All the love you need in your relationship might be one sincere “thank you” away from it.
Gratitude brings radiance to your life
The moment pure gratitude is felt, a flow of great positivity and tremendously good feelings rushes straight to one’s heart without any effort whatsoever. It’s the perfect cure for any dark day or restless situations – you only need to acknowledge how much you have achieved in your life, how many great people loves you or how divine it is to be alive and experiencing the now.
If you learn to this on a regular basis, you’ll reprogram your brain’s ability to get out of a bad mood and to be more receptive to positive things – because nothing else has a greater power to change reality as your very own thoughts! They can change the way you perceive reality and, therefore, your mood and happiness is completely dependent on them.
Your thoughts affect reality around you, reshaping and coloring with brightly vivid colors everything you see, so by practicing gratefulness you teach your mind to be focused on what really matters – positive things. Imagine this as a positive feedback cycle that is fed by your good thoughts and nurtures you back with a joyful perception of reality. Once you get into that cycle, it’s much easier to stay inside of it.
Gratitude is your fast lane to the divine in you, the very layer of peacefulness and regenerating tranquility that lies beneath your dark thoughts and hectic thinking patterns. In this deep calm sea where no worries or anxieties exist, one is free to sail closer to the very source, the divine whole that lives at the center of reality.
Conclusion and final words
Allow gratitude to change your thoughts – and your life – since the moment you wake up. Realize how much of a blessing it is to be alive and experiencing reality with a human brain. Turn all your energies into something useful for your own personal development and achieve enlightenment you can use to benefit all beings that share this planetary home with you. Gratitude is sincere kindness towards others and an open door for harmony and love to freely and graciously enter and shine out from your soul.