The Power of Gratitude
If we are to stop and really watch the spaces around us, there are always evidence of abundance to be found; that is how I felt while watching the pool of sardines swim by, there are like swarms of them!
Nature is always creating. Each day more and more of these fishes are being produced. Trees and plants spread across the lands by dispersing their seeds. Newborns start coming into the world to begin their amazing journey of life.
This whole mystery of ecology is a miracle. It seemed like things just magically appear out of thin air.
The source never stops creating.
Practice gratitude for the higher intelligence at work from the universe, just because it creates…so that you can enjoy the fruits of its labor.
There was a time in my life where I didn’t realize that I took things for granted. It is so easy to overlook things once you have acquired it and move on to the next big thing. The endless stream of desires and the compulsiveness of just wanting to have more cling on so tightly to my unconscious self. It wasn’t until I have experienced the loss, then I started to realize how much I have; then the simplest things became the most important.
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”
There was once when I was so poor that I couldn’t even afford a meal. I was working on-board a ship. Having just started on the job, my allowances wouldn’t come until later. I had too much of an ego to seek help and trying hard not to look so needy to my peers was more important than going hungry. After the crew went out to get their dinner, I was so hungry that I scavenged the galley for food and all I could find was instant noodles crawled with roaches.
I still remembered vividly that I had tears in my eyes when I squatted by the ship side, while having that bowl of hot noodle soup. It was the most delicious meal I ever had. I was so hungry after a hard day’s work that I didn’t even ask myself how I ended up in that situation. What I do know is that when you have nothing to eat—nothing else matters.
That became one of my most memorable and valuable experience. From that day onwards, I have never wasted any food on my plate ever and I am grateful ever since. The weird thing is after I started being grateful, I never went hungry again.
The power of gratitude is very strong in many ways. It is the closest emotion to love itself. The one most important thing that it can do for us is to allow us to experience abundance in our lives; and be really happy with even the simplest things.
This reminds me of a favorite quote from Hafiz of Persia.
“Even after all this time,The sun never says to the earth,
‘You owe me.’
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights the whole sky.”
So powerful. In fact without the love from the sun, none of us would exist. Everything on this earth depends on the light of the sun to flourish. We couldn’t thank the sun enough even if we wanted to.
It is said that scientists have discovered that the capabilities of the human body can live up to 300 years. It is the conditioning of the mind that causes us to believe that the average human lifespan is only 70 years; so we started to live out our mind’s wishes by believing we are getting old at the age of 60 and retires. When we retire with nothing to look forward to, when we feel our life is done—we depart from physical existence.
It made me wonder sometimes what I would do differently if I can live thrice as long. The thing is if I don’t know how to live fully in one day, it would only be a mess if I have to handle 300 years.
If we are only to be grateful for this one day of life, this very moment, we will discover that there is so much things to see, to do, to experience—then maybe 300 years is not enough.
Being grateful for the many things we have in just this one day, we will experience more of the same. There is a reason why people leave us, things leave us, experiences leave us because we were not appreciative and grateful for it in the first place. Nature can sense the energy that we are carrying and it will just give us more of the scarcity if that is what we are thinking of most of the time.
For the life and the things that you have right now, there is always someone else worse off in the world that would gladly give their place in exchange for yours.
How can we tell if we are thinking thoughts that are rooted in scarcity? Why do we want more money? Why do we think that people owe us? Why do we need bigger houses and cars and anything in-between? When we don’t appreciate the things that we have now, we will always be looking at the next big thing.
It is a trap. It is a never-ending game we play because how much is enough? How can it be enough if we cannot even begin to appreciate what we have? People living thousands of years ago would gladly kill for the comforts we have now and yet it isn’t enough.
There is a reminder that I always tell myself: “For the life and the things that you have right now, there is always someone else worse off in the world that would gladly give their place in exchange for yours.”
No matter how bad we think our situation is, there is always someone worse off.
Do not compare yourself with others, what you have now is essentially yours to enjoy—it is meant only for you at this moment. You have the rights to be happy and joyful for the life that you own, you don’t need others to tell you otherwise; there are many who would gladly tell you the reasons that you don’t deserve to be happy.
Learn to be rooted in abundance instead. Know that the world is naturally abundant. Know the value of the dollar you have. By spending it in the groceries, understand that you are not only feeding yourself, you are also feeding everyone who works there and their families and children. The food you have involves the effort and energy of multiple people; it needs to be grown, cultivated, packed, transported and cooked before it reaches your plate.
Everyone is working hard to sustain the lives of another.
Be grateful for the ability to give and receive, and understand the abundance that it brings to everyone including yourself. This is how the universe works, in the flow of this inter-connectedness. If we can stop resisting and fighting ourselves in our thoughts and rejoice in this very moment, we will see that we own so many things… so much more than we can ever ask for.
So practice gratitude by saying “Thank you”, once in the morning when you wake up, once at night before going to sleep. This will allow you to condition your unconscious so that one day you might catch a glimpse of the most beautiful symphony that the world is playing.