The Path To Total Bliss And The Importance Of Gratitude In Life
The importance of gratitude in life is a powerful tool, and gratitude itself is an uplifting emotion. Different to a negative outlook toward life, in which the world usually appears black and dull, a thankful attitude fosters a positive demeanor towards life and, thus, increases it’s quality, as well.
Unlike other feelings, such as resentment or euphoria, appreciation is more of a covered sensation. In rare cases gratitude provokes extreme emotional outbursts. Thankfulness is an enormously essential trait in the long term, as it makes us blissful and well-balanced. There are a wide variety of different forms of gratitude. Below are some examples:
The diverse shapes of gratitude
Gratitude is one of the basic attitudes of many religions. This includes thankfulness for a divine existence and, spiritually, for faith. The feeling of gratitude to God is something fulfilling and moving for religious people. But even if you are not religious, you ought to be appreciative for your life and existence.
The near and dear ones are the highest good for most people. The result is the deep gratitude that many feel for their family.
For example, you are grateful to your parents for turning you into the person you are today and for helping and providing emotional support in times of need.
Friends are also a very important center in our lives. You can be grateful for a great circle of buddies and for those to fulfill your life, to help you when it matters, and to keep you honest and grounded.
In almost every survey, health is one of the top ranging subjects when it comes to family matters, or when it comes to what is most important in life.
We are grateful to be healthy and enjoy life without restrictions. We also feel gratitude for the well being and integrity of our family and friends
You can be thankful to live in a democracy where there are no wars and bitter poverty. Equal educational opportunities and national values are not everywhere self-evident. We should be thankful for that.
You ought to be grateful that you have a job in which you can expand and that you have established a secure existence for your family. One can be thankful for not having to deal with existential fears, but being able to fulfill one’s basic needs, instead.
It sounds clichéd, but we should be appreciative for what we have, as well as for being able to afford something in life! May it be a new kitchen appliance, a dream car or even a relaxing holiday.
The examples show that you can feel gratitude for both material and immaterial things. Often new forms of gratitude emerge after we overcome crises and strokes of fate.
Thankfulness and appreciation are closely linked. In gratitude, appreciation expresses itself and vice versa.
Let me share a story with you which my grandfather told me when I was a little girl. This African short story tells of the gratitude we too often forget. Ernst Ferstl, an Austrian author, once said, “Anyone who is blissful about what he has, has no time to complain about what he does not have.” Have fun with the following short tale:
Life and the ungrateful healed
One day, life went on a journey through the world. It walked and walked until it came to a man. He had such swollen limbs that he could barely move.
“Who are you?” Asked the man.
“I am the life.”
“If you’re the life, maybe you can cure me,” said the ailing man.
“I want to heal you,” said life, “but you will soon forget me and your illness.”
“How could I forget you!” Exclaimed the man.
“Well, I want to come back in seven years, then we shall see,” said life. And it covered the sick man with dust, which it had taken from the path. As soon as that happened, the man was healed.
Then, life moved on and came to a leprosy sufferer.
“Who are you?” Asked the man.
“I am the life.”
“Life?” Said the sick man. “You could make me healthy, then.”
“I could do that,” life replied, “but you will soon forget me and your illness.”
“I will not forget you,” the patient promised.
“Well, I want to come back in seven years, then we will see,” said life. It also sprinkled this man with dust from the road, and the patient immediately became well.
Again, life went on its merry travels. Then, after many days, it finally came upon a blind man.
“Who are you?” Asked the blind man.
“Oh, life!” Exclaimed the blind man, pleased. “I beg you, give me my eyesight again!”
“I will do that, but you will soon forget me and your blindness.”
“I will not forget you,” promised the blind man.
“Well, I want to come back in seven years, then we’ll find out,” said life, spread dust from the road all over the blind man, and the man regained his eyesight, again.
Seven years had gone by
When seven years had passed, life returned into the world. It took a physical form, in the shape of a blind man, and went first to the one to whose eyesight had been restored.
“Please, grant me shelter for tonight,” life begged.
“What do you think?” The man shouted. “Get away from here! It’s just missing that every cripple lingers around my property.”
“You see,” said life, “seven years ago, you were blind. I healed you then. And you promised never to forget your blindness and me.”
Then, life took a little dust off the road and stacked it on the trail of this ungrateful man. From one hour to the next, he became blind again.
Joyfully the life traveled on
So life pushed on with it’s journey, and it wasn’t long until it came across the man whom it had healed of leprosy seven years back. Life turned into a leprosy sufferer and asked for a place to stay overnight.
“Get packed!” The angry man yelled. “You will just infect me!”
“You see,” said life, “seven years ago I healed you of the leper’s disease. At that time, you promised never to forget me and your illness.” Life then again took a little dust off the path and piled it on the man’s trail. At the same moment, the man was again ridden by leprosy.
After all, life turned into a person whose limbs were so swollen that he could barely move. So it visited the man who it had first healed those seven years ago.
“Could I stay with you?” Life asked him.
One out of three
“You’re welcome, come on,” the man invited the life. “Sit down, you poor soul and rest a while. I want to prepare you something to eat. I know quite well how you must feel. Once I had just such swollen limbs.
It was about seven years ago when the life came over and healed my ailment. At that time, it said that it would come back to visit me after seven years. Wait here until the life returns, and perchance it will help you too.”
“I am the life,” it proclaimed. “You are the only one of all who has forgotten neither me nor his illness. That’s why lasting health shalt be your reward.”
When it had bid its farewell to the good man, the life said: “You see, life is constantly changing. Often happiness becomes misfortune. Hardship turns into wealth, and love can turn into hate. Thus, nobody should take anything for granted, and no one should ever forget that.”
Gratitude and Gratitude lists: You’ve heard of it. But do you also practice it?
One of the most important exercises that inspired me to change my mindset is the focus on gratitude.
At the moment, I mainly hear groans and sighs: “Oh, if only we had less stress and more time at last! Less weight and more salad on the plate! More money and less work! More heat and less rainfall! More peace and less war! More relaxation and no stress – yes, then we would be happy!”
Is that so?
Can we not be happy and grateful today for what we already have, and be even happier later, once we obtain more to be thankful about?
Our present situation is the sum of all the decisions that we have taken.
Therefore, the control lies within us, every single day. Believe it or not, we can decide at any moment to be happy. All it takes is to shift the focus of your thoughts from the negative to the positive.
Of course, this does not always work right away. Above all, it takes a bit of practice. I do not feel bombastic every second either. However, I have learned one thing over the years, and it works like a charm: With gratitude, everything is better.
Where gratitude is there can’t be shame and also not criticism. Where ever gratitude lives, there is no dwelling for fear, either.
Where thankfulness reigns, anger cannot exist. Instead, it creates a pleasant emotion, transmitting to you that everything is fine, which it truly is.
Because you see, my dear starlings, in that very present moment that this blissful feeling arises, you are perfectly well.
And, this present moment, is all that ever exists. You don’t lack anything at the very moment; thus, you are alright! That alone is one good reason to be grateful for.
Gratitude lives in the present moment
Personally, I express gratitude for all that I have and what surrounds me. I also train myself to draw my attention to it. I’m really a nerd, because it just works so neatly. Would you like to give it a try, too? Then, simply be grateful for everything that surrounds you. Here’s how it goes:
Write down three things that you are grateful for every evening and for at least one week. This may be the sun that you saw today, the chirping birds as messengers of spring or the sympathetic flower seller who has complimented you.
Also, the colleagues who have invited you for lunch, or the friends who surround you and recently helped you with something or who simply are there and like you the way you are.
These details add to the importance of gratitude in life. It’s the small things that count – the ones we usually take for granted.
It can be the air that you breathe or just the fact that you are alive today. That alone is a small miracle for which it is worthwhile to feel gratitude! Be creative, and you’ll come up with a lot, even on a lousy day.
As a matter of fact, there are not even any “lousy days.” Because the truth is that you are evolving and learning from those so-called “messed-up days.” And when you are learning you are spiritually growing – expanding!
So, even when things don’t go the way they were planned to pan out, it’s for your highest good. That again makes it something to be appreciative for.
Keep a gratitude diary
There is always something for which you can feel gratitude. And if the air that you breathe is seriously the only thing you can come up with on a particular day, still write it down. Do so best by hand just like in the golden times.
Putting things down on a piece of paper through handwriting does put you into the present moment. The here and now! Which is exactly where you should be at all times, anyway.
If you want to become an ace in being grateful, I recommend you a “thank you” diary, similar to the 5-minute journal: Gratitude for every day.
If you have time tonight, start thinking about something new for which you feel gratitude today. Continue doing this every single day from now on and you will soon see that it is worth the “effort”…
Yes, starlings, as that is my new name for you – Darlings, which came from and are made from the stars. I hope you don’t mind. I just want the very best for you. I know how tough life can appear to be at times when nothing seems to make sense.
However, every time you are going through such episodes, keep in mind that in those moments you are not living in the present; thus, whatever negativity you are experiencing is not real.
Remember that when your thoughts wander off into the past, many regrets that you might harbor can lead to depression. Whenever you’re concerned about the future, you are attracting anxiety and panic attacks.
In fact, none of those two timelines exist – it’s all an illusion. The only moment that truly is, is the NOW. And in this very NOW, you are doing well.
Now it’s your turn. Please, don’t be shy to leave a comment with your thoughts and/or experiences regarding the importance of gratitude in life. We are always very happy to read from you. Also, please, do like, follow and share us on social media.
Remember, you are, endlessly loved, precious and unique regardless of what others think or say. I’m sending you lots of love, clarity, joy and an abundance of all good things. Keep on sparkling, my starlings.