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Culture

How To Live With Gratitude (And Really Show It)

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Do you keep a gratitude journal? If you do, you’ll know that it’s something you can use to see the positives in life, and something to look back on and realize that you’ve had so much to be grateful for all along. Gratitude is a way to keep holding onto our dreams and stay connected to the ones we love, and what’s great about it is that it gets easier to find the more we practice it. When we realize how much love has been poured into us from God, our family and friends then we will always feel the strength to keep pushing. If we lose sight of that we can often feel like anything we do is pointless. Gratitude can change one’s life.

Have we convinced you to start a gratitude journal yet? Fantastic! But how about taking it a step further? How can we make our every day a living, breathing expression of gratitude?

Exercising Our Freedom of Choice

Often complaining is enjoyable. We feel like it’s a release, that it’s cathartic. It can also be a means of bonding. There’s that guy at work that really winds us up so we bond with our co-worker on our mutual annoyance. But then, is this something that should be a lifestyle choice? Do we really want to bond on the basis of our dislikes? Often if we are not careful we can create a life based around complaining and negativity.

Pessimism is abound; we can find it in the news, or in colleagues or maybe the weather isn’t quite what we’d hope it to be but does pessimism fit in with a healthy spiritual life? While it can be satisfying it is not always conducive to change. What are you going to do about it?

At times, things can happen that are beyond our control. Yet one thing we always retain is our freedom. We are given the freedom to see beyond our surroundings. A huge factor in the victorious story of Unification faith founder, Father Moon’s life is the challenges he has surmounted. How many people born into such humble beginnings in a small village in Korea have impacted the world so much? One thing to note in Father Moon’s life is his positive perspective to every undertaking. He has always maintained a keen mind to finding the positive in any situation.

When we realize that there is no fixed meaning to life events, tougher moments often turn into opportunities, mountains to be surpassed. It’s when in the face of everything we still pull through that a victory really feels like a victory.

Celebrate!

Gratitude is an important factor of our emotional health and energy. It is a way of letting positivity and happiness run our lives. Many cultures are aware of this and set aside special days to recognize gratitude whether it be Thanksgiving, Easter or the Korean festival of Chuseok (Autumn celebrations for a successful harvest).

Whether we’re thanking our ancestors, remembering heroes that gave their lives to a great cause or celebrating a Saint or an aspect of God’s love, days like these remind us that there is so much in our life that we should be grateful for. Next time such a holiday rolls around, remember what it’s really all about, and take the time to soak in your gratitude for all that you have and are.

Say “Thank You.”

We saved the simplest for last, because it’s the small, daily actions that play the biggest role in building our habits and our life. There is no better way to feel gratitude, to know it and to show it than to say it out loud.

For whatever reasons, we don’t always manage to say “thank you” in words; our mood might dampen and we lose the sentiment, or we just don’t feel it needs to be expressed. But if gratitude can change our lives, it most certainly can change the lives of those we are grateful toward. So let us live by the following rule: If we’re feeling inspired to say thank you, then—right then and there—drop everything and say thanks, whether it takes picking up the phone and making a call, or saying a prayer of thanks to our Heavenly Parent. A life of gratitude is in what we do.