One thing that seems consistent with my various readings over the years is the issue of gratitude. As someone who’s grown up and currently lives in a land of plenty, I realize that I take a lot of things for granted. So it’s from this perspective that I ask these questions:
Why should I be grateful? And to whom should I be grateful?
I should explain the “why” question a bit. To me, being grateful for something implies that I have something – or have received something – that I didn’t have access to at some time or another. It also seems to imply that this “something” came to me as a result of someone/something else. That without that someone/something I could not have had this thing I have now. If the local fruit vendor gave me an apple, I’d be grateful. If I went to the fruit vendor and bought the apple, should I be thankful? It’s these details I grapple with the most as I try to reshape my cosmology.
Any thoughts, comments and advice are appreciated. And yes, I will be grateful for them.
I love that you asked this question, Kevin, because for years it was my question to. I was ashamed to ask it, though. I didn’t believe in a god who doles out gifts on a whim, and I didn’t want to sound selfish or ungrateful. I just didn’t know who I should be grateful to.
Here is what I’ve learned from my teacher. The emotion of gratitude, or more accurately, appreciation is the closest emotion to unconditional love that we humans can get to. When we think of love, we usually have baggage that goes with it, but not so when we think of appreciation. Appreciation is the way Source thinks and feels about us. How cool is that?
When we are feeling gratitude or appreciation, we are sending the vibe to the Universe that we like that thing and want more of it. If it is an apple you are appreciating – appreciate that there are such things as apples, appreciate the beautiful red or the cool yellow color of it. Appreciate the delectable taste, the wonderful, crisp, juiciness. Appreciate your enjoyment of it – that your taste buds give you the enjoyment of it and your magical five fingers can hold it. Appreciate your ability to buy it, or if it was given to you, appreciate the kindness of the person who gave it to you. Appreciate the person who planted it and watered the tree that grew it. Appreciate the hard workers who picked it, and packed it and shipped it close to your house so you could enjoy it.
We want to feel appreciation because 1) it feels good to appreciate, and in feeling good, we create more things that we feel good about and 2) it brings us more of what we are appreciating.
Neither appreciation nor gratitude have to have anything to do with anyone else. And, although I am using the two words as interchangeable, my teacher makes a distinction. They say that gratitude is usually used in comparison to something we don’t want; i. e., “I’m so grateful I’m better off than that person.” Appreciation, on the other hand, is a more pure vibration.
Hope this helps.