GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!!
The Answer is Gratitude.
Last week we discussed grief, and I hope it was an inspiring message for you…inspiring in that you felt better about the grief that we all hold for people, pets, loves, etc. that have gone on. The grief we feel is equal to the love we have.
This week we will look at Gratitude.
Patricia Campbell Carlson, director and senior editor of spiritualityandpractice.com, says Grief and gratitude are interlocked in such a unique way, “Grief and gratitude are kindred souls … each pointing to the beauty of what is transient and given to us by grace.”
They are not just attitudes of mind; but require us to accept both of their gifts to know the joy of life. Grief guides us to gratitude, and gratitude guides us to an understanding of peace, and the healing power of love. Grief shows us what is important to us personally, and gratitude gives us the energy to contribute what we have learned with others, and to sit beside them in their grief.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 remind us to “give thanks in all circumstances.” That means being grateful for whatever happens. If we live by that standard, we will be transformed.
Sometimes it seems harsh to think we could find something to be grateful for in the things that will sometimes happen to us, no matter how ‘good’ we believe we are being.
In times like those, we can recall what Mr. Rogers said…
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.”
From The World According to Mister Rogers
It may take a few minutes or even a day or more, but if we just find something to be grateful for, the experience, whatever it may be, can seem just a little ‘less’ harsh, maybe, a little less hurtful.
And not only so-called disasters, but every personal grief we encounter, we just need to believe there are helpers there for us if we only allow them to enter our world.
The Revealing Word sates – gratitude & thanksgiving are both necessary in demonstrating prosperity through divine law. Be grateful to God & thankful to the friends whom He uses to supply you.
Charles Fillmore continues…” All metaphysicians have found by experience that being thankful for what they have increases the inflow. Gratitude is a great mind magnet, & when it is expressed from the spiritual standpoint it is powerfully augmented. The saying of grace at the table has its origin in this idea of the power of increase through giving thanks.”
Melody Beattie continues that thought – “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude make sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
An attitude of gratitude can be developed over time if practiced sincerely and on a regular basis. When we pray, remembering to be grateful, we develop gratitude as a habit and thereby establish it as a way of life.
Let start now…
Say these words out loud: I am blessed.
Now say them again with a pause in between each word. I. Am. Blessed.
Now one more time with a longer pause and with your most powerful voice: I … Am … Blessed!
Doesn’t it make you smile?
Just saying these words can activate your imagination of the blessings already in our life, knowing many may not even be in our present awareness.
Let’s share for a few minutes…. what are you grateful for?
The root of the word bless means “to consecrate, to make something holy.” The word shares its origins with the word blood. To understand blessing is to know it as an invisible, cosmic bloodstream pulsating through the universe.
We have so very much to be grateful for, but like the black dot ion the white paper we talked about last week, we too often focus on the 1% of not so good instead of the 99% good.
Let’s say this affirmation:
“I am grateful for all God’s blessings in my life”
A blessing is life-giving; it is life itself.
The great Jewish sage Abraham Heschel said, “Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.”
Find the good in all things and bless it.
Rev. Kelly Isola instructs us to “Bless it because it exists—there is no other reason needed. Then we must follow that up by passing along our blessings. Blessings are life-giving, but only if we pass them on. This is how we are blessed beyond measure. “
There is a pattern inherent in being blessed and being a blessing.
• First, we express delight when we realize we are blessed by something, just allowing it to be.
• Second, we give thanks for that realization.
• Eventually we become the blessing—the life of God—by passing the blessing along.
• Finally, we repeat the pattern, over and over, good beyond measure.
But at times, life is hard. We struggle, and we might see what exists in front of us as fraught with pain, anger, death, fear, violence, loneliness, overwhelm, or powerlessness. We may ask ourselves: how can this possibly be a blessing?
There are times when we are challenged, when life stands still or seems too dark to find our way out. When we’ve camped in the Valley and sometimes aren’t sure we want to find our way out to the sunshine.
Experiences and difficulties with people can make us truly wonder how we are being blessed, when all we can feel is our sense of inadequacy or unworthiness. Our sense of belonging, of being loved and lovable, seems to disappear into thin air.
This is when we must bring our attention to the present moment.
Paul John Roach has said, “I believe we need only one thing to live in gratitude and appreciation. That one thing is our ability to allow the present moment to unfold just as it is. The simple willingness to look and listen is all we need to open up to whole new worlds of possibility. When that expanded vision arises in us, we cannot help but give joyful thanks.”
Remember who and what we are…powerful beyond measure, Divine inheritors of blessings beyond our imagination.
Our 1st & 2nd Principles remind us of that every time we remember to re-member it…
There is only one Presence and one Power, God the Good.
We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. God is present in all people as our divine essence, our Christ nature.
Whether we walk firmly with great determination, or unsteady and unsure like a toddler (and every stage in between), remember that God is everywhere present.
Feeling this, we know we walk in that Spiritual presence, one step at a time, one day at a time.
We grow in the midst of our discomfort, seeing how these challenges expand our wisdom and compassion.
Unity cofounder Myrtle Fillmore said, “Every individual has to live his own life and draw for himself upon the life, substance, health, and strength that are waiting to be brought forth. No one can eat another’s food for him or breathe for him; neither can one person express the indwelling life and health for another. Each one of us must draw upon the source of these things for himself. Blessed are we when we recognize that this is the way of receiving and do it.”
AN attitude of gratitude…. it’s our choice. An we have those choice opportunities all the time.
Here’s an example of how gratitude goes both ways…
San Francisco Chronicle front page story: December 14, 2005, illustrated in a very clear way the transformative power of gratitude.
A female humpback whale had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body — her tail, her torso, even a line tugging in her mouth.
A fisherman spotted her just outside the Golden Gate Bridge and radioed an environmental group for help.
Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her — a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer. They worked for hours with curved knives to free her. And she never made one aggressive move toward any of them. She did nothing that would have put the rescue workers in danger. In fact, the diver who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eye followed him the whole time and in it he could see gratitude. Eventually she was freed. And when she was free, the divers said she did something completely unexpected.
She didn’t just immediately head out to sea. Instead, she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then swam back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around — as if to say, “Thank you.” The rescue workers reported it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives and that they would never be the same.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
~ John F. Kennedy