THE ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE GIVES LIFE ITS TRUE ALTITUDE
Gratitude and happiness nourish each other. When we are grateful, we are happy. We should not think that we can outsmart this divine law, and sustain the tree of happiness without nourishing it with waters of gratitude.
If we are happy and not grateful, our happiness soon wanes. We always have a choice - about being grateful for what we have in life, or crib about what we don't. Understanding this is actually very vital to life.
Let us understand why gratitude nurtures happiness. An ancient saying in India is, 'Yatha drishti. tatha srishti' which means the creation is as you choose to see it. There is no absolute reality in this creation ; the realities that we experience are those that our thoughts and perceptions create ; since we choose to think and perceive differently, the way we find the world - the same world - differs from person to person, and even for the same person, from time to time. Out there, we just have some energy fields which our brains decode into what we perceive.
We feel gratitude only when we see good - i.e. when we choose to see good, and seeing good makes us happy. We crib when we choose to see what we do not like, and that makes us unhappy.
When we thank someone, not only the person who is thanked feels happy because we all like to be appreciated, loved and cherished, but we too do so, provided our thanksgiving is sincere and deep-rooted. Appreciation puts us into a positive mode of thoughts, and that feeling is intra-active and self-fulfilling.
There have been great souls who could see good even in great tests and trials, and that actually sustained them through those experiences.
The whole universe is minutely configured to sustain life and evolution. In one second, the earth receives more energy from the sun than the total energy civilized man has so far been able to generate by all means put together ; in fact without sunlight there would be no life possible on earth (if we are vegetarians, we eat plants and leaves that make their food by a process called photo-synthesis or carbon assimilation in which sunlight is an important input ; if we are non-vegetarians, we eat the animals and birds that survive on plants).
The body we make so much fuss about is a gift from our biological parents ; trillions of cells are intelligently deployed in the upkeep of this human body.
Digesting food or beating the heart is not our human skill ; if these were our skills, we would never have an upset stomach or a heart-failure.
Even our bodily waste which is produced in millions of tonnes everyday globally is recycled by Mother Earth ; during day time, the carbon dioxide-rich air we exhale is useful to the trees, while they give us so much in the form of oxygen, food, medicines, wood, etc.
On gratitude, a great Master, Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (author of 'Autobiography of a Yogi'), says :
"Every day should be a day of thanksgiving for the gifts of life: sunshine, water, and the luscious fruits and greens that are indirect gifts of the Great Giver. God makes us work so that we may deserve to receive His gifts. The All-Sufficient One
does not need our thanks, however heartfelt, but when we are grateful to Him our attention is concentrated, for our highest benefit, upon the Great Source of all supply.
"Our dear ones promise to love us forever; yet when they sink into the Great Sleep, their earth memories forsaken, what value their vows? Who, without telling us in words, loves us everlastingly? Who remembers us when all others forget us? Who will still be with us when we must leave the friends of this world? God Alone.
"When the summer of good fortune warms my tree of life, it easily burgeons with fragrant blossoms of thankfulness. During winter months of misfortune, O Lord, may my denuded branches changelessly waft toward Thee a secret scent of gratitude.
"Thanksgiving and praise open in your consciousness the way for spiritual growth and supply to come to you. Spirit pushes Itself out into visible manifestation as soon as a channel is opened through which It can flow. You should be thankful for everything at all times. Realize that all power to think, and speak and act comes from God, and that He is with you now, guiding and inspiring you.
"In one of His aspects, a very touching aspect, the Lord may be said to be a beggar. He yearns for our attention. The Master of the Universe, at whose glance all stars, suns, moons, and planets quiver, is running after man and saying: "Won't you give Me your affection? Don't you Love Me, the Giver, more than the things I have made for you? Won't you seek Me?" But man says: " I am too busy now; I have work to do. I can't take time to look for You." And the Lord says: "I will wait."
"We put forth our hands to receive God's gifts of life and sun and food and all the other things He bestows on us; but even as we receive them, we are unmindful of the Giver. If you have lovingly given presents to someone and then find out that he never thinks of you, How hurt you would feel! God feels that way, too.
"Always in the background of your mind hum a silent devotional song of love to your beloved Heavenly Father, remembering that all your abilities are gifts from Him.
"O Father, when I was blind I found not a door that led to Thee. Thou hast healed my eyes; now I discover doors everywhere: the hearts of flowers, the voices of friendship, memories of lovely experiences. Each gust of my prayer opens a new entrance to the vast temple of Thy presence."
Let us be grateful to God and to His presence within each of us that inspires and enables us to help one another. It would help us be much happier and healthier.
Motivational Life Coach & Trainer.