In my personal spiritual walk, I feel closer to perpetual gratitude than I have ever been before. To feel thankful for all that I have is a catalyst for the strong will and desire for life that I have just from being. I am alive, you are alive, and there is no better reason for gratitude than that. I feel safe in spirituality because it is the only real place I want to be and explore these truths all the time. It is a maternal presence that holds me in the intangible paradox of reality. I feel empowered with gratitude; it is the linear paternal presence that reminds me of my faith.
Gratitude is not an emotion that forces passivity or the couching of negative emotions, it is the soul work (and I mean work) of remaining fully present and aware of all things in your life that present themselves as gifts to you. That does not mean that gratitude is meant for only the great happenings and successes, for it lies down with you in the grave as well, guaranteeing safe passage…
“There were people who went to sleep last night,
poor and rich and white and black,
but they will never wake again.
And those dead folks would give anything at all
for just five minutes of this weather
or ten minutes of plowing.
So you watch yourself about complaining.
What you’re supposed to do
when you don’t like a thing is change it.
If you can’t change it,
change the way you think about it.”
― Maya Angelou
Full presence is a necessity for the activation of the ability to see all forms of gratitude in the light and dark areas of your life that are around you every day. Being in this place, the here and now, you will no longer hunger for an unknown morsel to give you expedient gratification. No more empty soul calories.
This is the difference between someone expressing gratitude as a means to an end and another person living gratitude just because she or he can.
When you live gratitude, you have all you need in the sacredness of the now energy.
You are fulfilled by the presence of the breath and are connected to the infinite space between each breath. There is no such concept as limit or shortage because gratitude creates a chemical, quantum chain reaction that produces more and more and more. This reaction is derived from the center of your heart — the seat of the soul. Having the strength to experience gratitude requires that you become child-like in your life experience. I know that sometimes I feel like a tool when I get excited from the innocent place within myself as if I need to take my parents advice and “grow up” but I just don’t care anymore. I need such innocence in my life so that I may continue to produce and reproduce gratitude from a pure place. Being in the practice now, will be a major benefit later as the years and decay of life begin to set in.
If Divinity were a visible and tangible mind, it would be the mind of an inquisitive child using her imagination creating, producing, and learning, asking questions, and loving without reservation. It is that same soft spot in all of us that ignites joy and incites happiness, melting jaded hearts with the warmth of a sunlit smile. Many of us hide from our Divinity because we feel too vulnerable to express it, too unsafe to let it take us forward.
I say do not hide. Shine, shine, shine brighter than life, bigger than the day is long. No matter what situation you find yourself in, you were born to shine.
Expressing yourself from this place is certainly not weakness but instead is the power center of overflowing love, personal truth, forgiveness and self-acceptance. Its magnetism will not allow you to ignore your darkness — that which needs healing– no. It elevates each and every part of you, even the forgotten aspects, bringing all to unifying light and unconditional wholeness just because you are here now, breathing.