The Power of Gratitude

Gratitude. A simple definition describes it as feeling of thankfulness or appreciation. While that is technically accurate, gratitude is so much more. Being able to understand the power of gratitude is to realize its ability to unlock the door to amazing clear sight, love, joy and healing. It is truly one of the best gifts there is and it is free. With November being the month for Thanksgiving, it is a perfect time to explore or reacquaint yourself with gratitude.
Gratitude changes your outlook from looking through a lens of lack to looking through a lens of possibility. They are two very different places for your spirit to sit. Words are power and it is your choice what words you give life. You can talk yourself into struggle and hopelessness or you can chose words that acknowledge the gifts, talents, experiences and people in your life that edify your soul. Being grateful lays the ground work for changing circumstances.
Gratitude comes in big and small packages and can bring laughter or tears or both. It can catch you at unexpected moments that are so surprising, it leaves you standing in awe or on your knees with your arms stretched open wide and thankful, so thankful. It can come at a quiet time while you are looking at your sleeping son who is now twenty, but you swear for just a second he was two again. It can come while walking out of in a hospital exit with your father who has spent two months in there beating unbelievable odds. It comes when the words your mother said to you years ago that did not make sense then, just clicks in place like a divine puzzle providing the words of wisdom you needed to hear today.
Opening your heart to gratitude leaves you open to healing that allows forgiveness, unconditional love and the acceptance that we are all imperfect, but still worthy of love in that imperfection. It allows you to look at things and people from new perspectives and see them as the wonderful prisms that they are. Oh, the possibilities.
Keeping a journal is a wonderful way to either begin or end your day in gratitude. I recently heard a story of a young man who created a ‘Book of Yeah’ that he carried with him. When he noticed someone having a bad day, he asked them to write what they were grateful for in the book. Not only did this change their disposition, he has an invaluable account of human perspective, perseverance and amazing moments. Try that if you dare. Pay it forward.
This year at the Thanksgiving, go around the table and let your guest say what they are thankful for. You may even ask them to write it down in a Thanksgiving journal that you keep from year to year. The answers will set the right tone for the day and may even start a new tradition.
“There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
– Albert Einstein