When you first think of gratitude, I am sure you must be saying to yourself, “I am a very grateful person.” By gratitude I don’t mean just saying “thank you” if somebody gives you a gift or holds a door for you. That is just politeness or social convention.
I’ve learnt that absolute gratitude is the ability to be open enough to see the benefaction in everything. It is not just an attitude or a word. It is an emotional pulsation that allows us to develop an alternative thought context for processing our circumstances in life — a context of an abundant life where everything we have is a gift, where we see clearly all that we really do have in life. Within this sphere, our view of the entire world, and hence our life, is different.
Gratitude is a release from fixation, selfishness and attachment to self and things. Gratitude sets the soul free from the drama of self: mine versus yours, tit for tat, and me versus you. Gratitude is not seasonal, it’s not sessional. In this sense, gratitude is fundamentally clear and unconditioned. It is not constructed on your state of being or your surfeit of emotions.
Centuries ago, the philosopher Cicero argued that among virtues, gratitude is “the parent of all the others, a virtue that begets other virtues”. To this extent, gratitude can thus be seen as one of the key parts of the path to elevated consciousness and evolution in your growth stage. Therefore, in order to cut through our growth stage we need to spend time being intimate with, and observing our emotional and mental habits, as well as our response to events, people and things. Who knows?
We may well discover within these experiences the graciousness of God and the munificence in people we interact with daily. Find that gratitude place — a place where you are thankful, a place where you appreciate and affirm things in your life. It will be a place where you recognize the gift of life itself.
A gratitude-natured soul will continually be ready and willing to show appreciation for, and return kindness and love. When we are grateful, we will display the ability to raise ourselves and others. We will be open-hearted towards others, creating conditions that allow all beings to flourish. We will be empowered to be the people God calls us to be – to more deeply love God, to love our neighbours, and to love
our own lives. We will be empowered to be authentic salt and light at home, at work, at church and everywhere else.
I have concluded that conditions change, but I am still here. I have been restored countless times. I can make decisions. So what if I feel whole today and tomorrow something shifts that changes my sense of wholeness? That doesn’t change the fact that I can choose how to handle this process, how to think about my being. I consider myself blessed. In fact, I feel privileged to recognize the capacity for choice, to love, to trust, and the courage to be just as I am… right here, right now.
Some people are not aware of these things that constitute gratitude. At some point, uncertainties surely teach. Cultivating an understanding of gratitude will lead to profound insight into the basis of experience. Gratitude is a place of utter thankfulness. Gratitude is your calmness centre.
Velly Abraham believes that to truly experience the blessing that comes from being alive she has to focus on “now”. She has been actively engaged in research work relating to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. She holds an MSc. in psychology.