Gratitude: An Overused Word?

Upon awakening this morning, I heard Dr. Joe Dispenza and his famous quote, “Gratitude is the ultimate state of receivership.” He was celebrating what he called the “Seven Days of Gratitude,” as the beginning of the Holiday Season. My first reaction was what a wonderful idea: seven days to focus on gratitude as a state of being not linked to any particular cause. Gratitude just is.

I went into my meditation, following his instructions to put my hand on my heart and bring up the emotion of gratitude. It’s easy for me to do this because I have so much for which to be grateful. But, what about when we feel we do not have anything to be grateful for? What if our life is a seeming mess? What if we just had a great loss? What if we are sick or in pain? Can we still be grateful?

My answer is yes, because gratitude is not just a word, and it does not signal that everything presently occurring in our life is okay even when it feels like it is not. Gratitude is not a state of denial of what is happening in the world of form.

For me, instead gratitude means that we are non resistant to life. It means that we accept life as a journey that is unfolding perfectly right now. Gratitude means we are in awe of all of life’s experiences, and that we are simply blessing what is as a deepening to a greater now. Gratitude is the knowing that we are held in Life’s keeping safely, while led by that deeper part of ourselves to a greater experience. Gratitude is simply faith that right where we are is not permanent, but that we are always moving and changing and becoming more of our eternal selves. Gratitude is changing our perspective of this moment into a miracle, a miracle because we are in awe of the magnitude and eternal aspect of just being alive.

Gratitude can be an overused word, as it superficially escapes our lips with no real meaning besides the Hallmark card meaning we’ve given it. However, as a practice of being in the present moment no matter what is happening in our life, and settling into the awe of living, it opens the doors to peace and true fulfillment, ease and grace. As a form of non resistance and playing in the field of what is with a curiosity and surrender of everything, with a trust and faith in the unknown, I believe it is a energetic bridge to oneness with everything and everyone, giving new meaning to the famous quote by Meister Eckhart, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is “thank you,” that will be enough.”

Love and Aloha,

Rev. Rita Andriello-Feren, Healer, Spiritual Director CSL Kaua`i

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