The Essence Of Gratitude And How It Can Help You Cultivate Happiness

gratitude-quotes

Gratitude is more then an idea; it’s a state of being. Gratitude is the embodiment of unconditional love because with it comes a means to be positive regardless of outside circumstances.

You can be in a very bleak situation and it may seem like things are not going your way, but with gratitude you can change that perspective. By focusing on what your grateful for; you’ll invite more people, things and events into your life that bring feelings of gratitude. We are what we focus on; by focusing on gratefulness you will become more grateful.

Now many of us find it difficulty to be grateful at times but that’s only because we’re blinded by our desires. Many of us have narrowly conceptualized our sense of worth according to our desires. If we’re unable to fulfill our desires we have the tendency to fall into a negative stupor. This state of mind hinders our ability to feel positive emotions; such as gratitude, happiness, joy and love.

Which is why it’s important to carefully evaluate our thoughts, beliefs and desires to better understand ourselves. Many of our beliefs and thoughts are the result of unbridled desires. We live in a world governed by materialism; thus desires rein supreme. Many of these desires though are unfounded and irrelevant. That is something we must all become aware of.

For example, many people in today’s society equate happiness with possessions. People strive to have a house, car, family and wealth thinking these things will increase the amount of happiness in their life. Unfortunately though that’s not how it works, it is not the thing that makes you happy; it is your choice(consent) in believing that things will make you happy that makes you happy. Happiness is a choice; when you choose to believe things will make you happy; they will; but only temporally because this world is temporal; by focusing on that which is temporal; you equate your sense of happiness as being temporal. Thus happiness becomes a fleeting idea to you.

Now by all means don’t believe that I’m bashing the idea of raising a family, accumulating wealth or buying a car or house. These things are neutral upon themselves; what I’m merely attempting to convey is the need to focus on one’s own sense of happiness from within. When we externalize our sense of happiness we give our power away to a external source. All that we need can be found from within; that includes happiness.

Gratitude helps in cultivating happiness, joy and love. By being grateful for what you already have you receive more positivity. Don’t spend so much time focusing on what you don’t have; instead focus on what you do have. You are what you focus on; so if you focus on negativity; you will reap negativity. If you focus on positivity; you will reap positivity. It really is that simple.

So if you find yourself getting into negative thoughts and behaviors; first thing you should do is to accept how you feel. Don’t condemn your thoughts or feelings; that will not help you in anyway. Practice acceptance and let them go; start to think about the things that you’re grateful for.

What I tend to do when I find myself in a negative state of being is start thinking to myself what I have in my life that I am grateful for. At first; this may seem difficult; especially when your feeling very negative. Yet; when you start thinking about it; you’ll have many things come to your awareness that bring feelings of gratitude. Such as “I’m grateful for my health.” or “I’m grateful for my family” and even “I’m grateful my Creator.” By doing this; you’re sending out positive vibes to the universe; which the universe will gladly respond to with more positivity. When you send out positive thoughts and deeds; you shall receive positive thoughts and deeds.

Many times though; we may fall into the pattern of comparing ourselves to others. Which will diminish our sense of gratitude and happiness. This is only because we’ve allowed ourselves to believe in some kind of idea. This idea is based in the realm of desire; we have an idea of what we think we should be like; if we’re not like that we get hard on ourselves. This leads to poor self esteem and negative state of mind.

I’ve come to discover this for myself. I had this idea of how I should be and if I fail to meet those expectations; I become very negative. If I come across anyone who I feel is exhibiting what I desire to be; I become envious and embroiled with jealousy. Most of the time this effects my relationship with this person and I become very combative with them.

This is why it’s of paramount concern for myself and many of you to be careful with desires. You don’t need to desire to be anyone else; except for yourself. Don’t fall into the pattern of comparing yourself to others. It doesn’t matter if someone appears to be more “Intelligent” or “Better Looking” then you. As the saying goes “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

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Everyone has their own opinion on what beauty and intelligence is. You are perfect as you are right now. Intelligence is determined by your own belief; not by comparison. Be grateful for who you are; be grateful for what you know. Gratitude will help you be your perfect self. Because at the end of the day; you are perfect all the time; even the times when you feel or think you’re not.

So my friends; be grateful all the time. When you feel ungrateful; be grateful that you can feel ungrateful. That is the beauty of life; you yourself can be whatever you want to be. When you explore your own inner landscape; you see that it isn’t one or the other. You can be grateful when your ungrateful. You can be ungrateful when your grateful. You don’t have to pick one of the other; they both can coexist in the same space.

That is perfectly illustrated with the Yin and Yang symbol below. When you look at this ancient Taoist symbol you see the unity of light and darkness, good and bad, positivity and negativity. They coexist as one; because they are a whole. Therefore; in one form of another; ungratefulness is gratefulness; it’s just the opposite side of the coin; yet it’s the same coin at the end of the day.

yin-and-yang

Remember; gratitude can assist in becoming the happiness you already are. Focus on gratitude and you shall be more grateful and happy. Until next time my friends; take care and many blessings to you all.

Timothy Frappier