Gratitude can heal you in several ways. If you are wallowing in self-pity, self-hatred, or even an inflated sense of self-love, gratitude can be the first wrung of the ladder on your way towards exit.
The addictions that circulate the soupy mire of victimhood; drama, narcissism and low vibration may have one saving grace; the grace of gratitude.
Loneliness often wears the guise of arrogance and belligerence, and so we must tread carefully when we approach someone who, on the surface anyway, can be very difficult. For someone who is suffering – deeply and painfully – the smallest of steps are all that is bearable for them.
Make that first step gratitude. And if you’re someone who has been lucky enough to learn that lesson already, then here are five habits of the highly grateful person you may already be exhibiting:
You have shifted the story in your head from; ‘I have to’, to, ‘I get to.’
Difficulties are no longer terrifying, but instead present an exciting challenge. A challenge, you have come to understand, is one to be taken head on and with an attitude of trust in yourself and the forces around you.
This wouldn’t be happening if it didn’t teach you something. And so, not needing to fully comprehend the hows and whys, you eagerly take it on.
You have replaced the victim’s way of looking at the world with that of gratitude, and you now tell yourself throughout the day that you get to, rather than have to. And really, how lucky and fortunate are we?!
We can never truly measure ourselves against other people, (not truly and accurately ever knowing what they are going through), so why bother? In fact, you’ve practised this so much you know that all you really need is what’s right in front of you.
I get to wake up in the morning, I get to walk myself to the bus stop, I get to have a computer and eat three square meals a day. Traveling and keeping your interactions as broad as possible (do all the people you know come from the same walks of life?) helps remind yourself that not everyone gets to do that, but still they are grateful for what they have.
Maybe you don’t have a car or a partner or the exact career you want, but you get to unfold the future you want to live and every moment there is the catalyst for potential change in the things you don’t like about your life. The way that you change it is by having gratitude for what you do have.
As Eckhart Tolle points out; “There are no problems in this moment.”
And if there is something you need to attend to, then you either do it, or you leave it alone. You no longer feel the need to turn things over again and again, instead granting yourself inner peace and letting it go.
Traumas and sadness are experienced and honored, but then sent to the dust heap. Even in the midst of chaos and misunderstanding, you let it flow over you and don’t ask too many questions. You know you are loved, and that’s all that matters.
Despite past and future events, you are grateful for this moment
“When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect towards others.” ~ Dalai Lama
You know you’ve come a long way, and you’re not completely sure where you’re going, but you know that this moment is good. You have everything you need in this moment.
Although you may still be very much attached to the past and future, you’re gradually turning a mirror on yourself and can now notice when you are invested in the story of your life.
You can notice when it is not as it should be, or told in a way that makes you feel hopeless or down, and you’re beginning to change it.
You are aware that you have a choice, and can choose to become lost in that story or lift yourself up and rewrite it. You know that no one else is going to rewrite it for you, and although that feels harsh, it’s also comforting because you now know that the power lies within you.
Be grateful for being you
You did choose to inhabit this body. You did choose this identity and can now own that choice. You are beginning to be grateful for being you.
As Ian Wallace said; “Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?”
You don’t feel the need to stand out. Yet just the very act of giving gratitude, whilst lowering you most deliciously into the collective consciousness, also elevates you up to where you wanted to be.
“The happiness of the drop is to die in the river” as the Sufi poet writes. You have realized that once you become one with the whole, through feeling a deep gratitude for where you are and seeing that it is neither better nor worse than anyone else’s, and out of that acceptance comes your uniqueness.
You are special and what you find difficult in this life is to inform your future. You now have the knowledge of how to let go of knowing anything – let the universe take over! You’re not here to understand the design, just take part in it. Yet you are grateful to be You.
You are able to walk in another’s shoes, whether they’re human, or not!
You inwardly bow or give thanks to everyone, regardless of the reaction they trigger in you. If that reaction is to stir up your anger or jealousy, then you appreciate them for doing that and don’t hate or condemn them for it.
You recognize your entire existence as a mirror, and your reaction the void with which you fill your world.
You are able to put yourself in another person’s shoes and have realized that it’s not all about you, that they are not just here to serve your purpose. Similarly, you’re able to recognize the life in the forests, the rivers, all plant and animal ‘selves’ you encounter through your day.
You can imagine how you must look to them, and, as well as be grateful for the self you see through their eyes, also better appreciate their experience, and deepen your reverence for all life.
Whether these points begin you on your journey towards gratitude, or simply further your journey towards the heart of it, you are beginning to merge with the whole. Namaste.
In this video, Robert Emmons explains how gratitude can heal, energize, and change our lives.