Friday, October 11, 2013

Universal Spiritual Principles for Success: Gratitude

Today is Friday, October 11, 2013.

This is the seventh in a series of articles about eight universal spiritual principles for success in any occupation of life. Previously, I wrote about  humility, purity, compassion, integrity, forgiveness and innocence.  Today's spiritual principle is gratitude. 

Gratitude allows a celebration of the present.  It is a feeling of being fulfilled, that there is abundance all around us.  Gratitude allows us to feel rich, whether we have a lot of money or not.  Perhaps that is the mechanism by which the attitude of gratitude brings opportunities and blessings into our lives.  If it's true that we create our reality with our thoughts, then our thoughts of plenty and abundance must be what creates more plenty and abundance.  

Gratitude blocks negative emotions such as envy, resentment, regret and depression.  It makes us more resilient to stress and strengthens our sense of self-worth.  As well, it strengthens our connections with other people.  

Although it's not listed as an antonym of gratitude, I would submit that the opposite of gratitude is a kind of bitterness or self-pity.  It's a feeling that there is not enough of anything in the world, and that others have things that you do not have.  

It's not enough to just say that we are grateful.  John F. Kennedy once said, "As we express gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."  In other words, our behavior must show our gratitude.  

When we are feeling fulfilled, we are operating under the assumption of abundance, and  we are therefore more likely to share what we have with others.  We are more likely to give our customers and clients a discount, for example.  We experience joy in the service of our patients, students and clients.

We notice opportunities and solutions that others miss.  We are more likely to believe in possibilities and consequently more likely to actively seek solutions to problems while acknowledging the reality of our present problems.  We are less likely to give up on a problem, saying it cannot be solved.  Healer Laura L. Fine has said, "In our darkest moments, seeking gratitude brings extraordinary power to the spirit."

Tomorrow:  love.  :-)

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