"with gratitude you will be able to see the love that is in the air"
To be grateful is to be thankful towards those who have helped us. For instance, towards the friends who have supported us, to our parents and people who raised us, towards our employer for giving us a job, or to the world for giving us opportunities for new experiences.
To develop gratitude thus is to develop the awareness of the love that is in the air.
In this article, we will explore the ways to naturally develop this awareness so that one can experience greater happiness.
Gratitude In Depth
When we lack the ability to be grateful, we can feel as if the world is absent of love.
From a spiritual perspective, love is always around us—all the time. So, to develop the ability to be grateful is simply to become aware of what we cannot see, and to question why the world is so dark when it is so bright.
Without this awareness, one can easily become blind to the help that other people are always giving to them. One can also end up only seeing the bad sides of people, unable to also see their good sides. And when one is always taking things for granted, one can become unappreciative and joyless at whatever blessings one receives.
Realize that Love is in everything. Because from love, all came to be. Love is inherent, existing in every atom, in every element, in every bone and fibre. Notice how the water quenches your thirst. Notice how atoms bond to sustain Creation. Notice how your body is always healing you. Notice how the sun is always giving a part of itself away to you.
Even if you may not feel the love from other humans, at least you could feel the love that is in the air right?
When one is attached to the intellectual thoughts of what love should be and not be, one's expectations can make one blind to the love that is happening around them. In other words, the more demanding one is, the more one will fail to appreciate the gifts that come their way.
So, the solution is to quieten the intellectual mind, to feed it with Stillness rather than Intellect. This is when the practice of meditation will come in handy. By meditating, one will finally be able to release the wandering thoughts of the mind so that they can experience the joy of simply being in the moment: that is when one will truly understand the gift of the Present Moment.
To quieten the mind, one can also take a deep breath every now and again, observing it coming in and out of the nostrils. This action can help pull one back to the Present Moment—Moments without interference from the mind—so that they can realize that their life is not so bad.
So, to develop gratitude is to develop such awareness and realize that love is always around us, though it may not be in the form we expect. And to realize that the more we busy ourselves, using our mind to think and think, the fewer pauses we will have in life to just look around and appreciate what we have.
Some ways to develop gratitude
Sometimes, to develop gratitude can require one to compare oneself to someone less fortunate: to see that it's a blessing really to even have a roof over one's head because others may not even have that opportunity.
Sometimes, to develop gratitude can require one to lose everything they have. Because in losing what one has, one will come to appreciate what one has lost.
It's kinda like a lover's quarrel; it's only when person leaves that the other realizes that one has screwed up!
So, gratitude can be developed in many ways. And the most natural way is to just meditate and Still the mind. And as one quietens the mind, allowing it to be more open to embrace the fullness of life experiences, one will be able to see the loving designs of this wonderous world, to appreciate the trees for bearing delicious fruits, to applaud the sky for creating such beautiful horizons, to thank the birds for their morning songs, and many more!
Path Of Creator
The journey is about developing the awareness to see the presence of love within all experiences.
And it can be a difficult journey because for some it will be akin to learning how to see light within the darkness. The intellectual mind that is full of opinions will no doubt step in and interfere with thoughts such as—
"Why am I forced to see something that is not there?"
That is why it's important to practice meditation so that the intellectual mind can be put at rest. Realize that the quality of our experiences in life will always come from the judgement of the mind. By learning to simply experience life with a Still mind, we can experience Reality clearer without the distortions of our own beliefs. Experiencing reality for what it is can help one to shift one's beliefs so that it is more aligned to the truth: the truth that love is indeed everywhere, that is if we look for it hard enough!
On the journey of Self-Transformation, developing gratitude will take another meaning, which is to also be thankful towards those who have given us a painful time. This form of gratitude is almost like forgiveness, but with the awareness that the suffering experience has helped one to grow.
It can be easy to judge suffering experiences in a negative light. To hate a person who has made us unhappy. To hate an experience for making us fearful. But the most valuable experiences in life for one to transform their mind will always come from the darker experiences of life because these experiences will always push us to think and do things differently so that the negativities can be overcome. Without challenges, the mind will find little motivation to change.
And the Universe knows the worth of these suffering experiences, so from time to time, will offer them to us as gifts. But without the ability to understand these gifts, one will see them as rubbish!
So, to develop gratitude is to become aware of the truth of reality: to know that all experiences in life are precious and it's up to us treasure it and learn how to use the experiences for their worth.
To accelerate the journey
On the journey, it will be important for one to develop Self-Knowing. Because by knowing how one's mind works, one will be able to see the worth of all experiences, of how every experience can be used to aid one on their spiritual growth.
On the journey, it will be important for one to develop Stillness. Because Stillness will help to cease the busy mind so that one can experience the reality for what it is.
That is why the practice of meditation is important as it will help one to develop both!
And on one's journey towards greater happiness, one will see that as the Universe spirals towards an ever-expanding Infinity, we are carried by its motion in the same way—towards greater growth. Every life experience that we pass through are but just steps for us to reach even greater heights. Those who help us, those who torment us, those fortunate events, those unfortunate ones: all will help us in their own special ways!
The destination istowards greater happiness and greater enlightenment: to see that life is but a school where one can learn more about love!
Develop Experienced Knowledge
Try to accept everyone and every experience you meet in life. By having that determination and intention alone will greatly transform the quality of the mind.
So, next time you experience an urge to hate someone. Try loving them instead. See that as long as we look hard enough, we can always find something good about a person.
And if you can't, then that's still great. Because it's an opportunity for one to explore why one cannot simply accept the other person for who they are.
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
At the end of the Creator's Meditation, you can practice giving gratitude towards the world and yourself.
Simply dedicate the last 5 minutes, doing your best to remain absolutely Still, without forming any negative thoughts and emotions towards yourself or the world. And in your own way, bring up the state of gratitude from the heart and effortlessly maintain that state of loving yourself and the world unconditionally.
Know and Transform The Self!
Try the 10 Day One-Self Catalyst to uncover your deepest Negative Ideas / States of Self-Rejection. In this course you will learn that all others, even all moments are simply You. Through this realization you will experience greater happiness and gratitude towards all there is.