What Good is Gratitude?

Huh! Gratitude! What is it good for? Absolutely everything . . .

What’s all this talk about gratitude, and what good is it to me? As the observer of your thoughts and feelings, you may also view life through another perspective. A true knowing that you’ve got it pretty good. We want and desire, we push and pull, but how often do we bask in the glow of all the beauty that surrounds us? No matter who we are, where we are, or what we are doing, there are at least 10 things to be grateful for in any given moment. And that is an ultra conservative number. Gratitude makes for fertile ground, the kind that dreams are truly built upon, though I digress.

I’d like to refer to it as a prayer of supplication.

This can also be seen as a wish. When you find an eyelash, blow it away and make a wish, is that wish ever thank you? It’s so easy to get caught up in the cycle of noticing and obsessing on what is lacking in our lives. When we are in that state, every thought and intention comes from this place of lacking, even visions of a brighter future are based in this fear, this lacking. It is not the ideal location for manifestation. It is truly in seeing what we have, in gratitude, that we shift that feeling place. That we become more open and receptive to the good around us, that we can actually see it and thereby, act on it. For when our eyes are closed to the good, and all we see is what we wish were there, we wouldn’t notice if the ideal opportunity fell into our laps – or the opportunity that would lead to the ideal opportunity. We are cut off from flow and are not allowing things to work in our favor.

I’m sure you’ve heard that old song, “when you’re smiling, when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you,” Well, this is not folklore, it happens to be fact. I’d like to cite mirror neurons, but it can be more clearly evidenced through experience. Have you ever caught yourself walking along, maybe a funny thought occurred to you, or you’ve just had a pleasant interaction with someone, and you’re smiling. Next thing you know, you look up and there is an acquaintance or even a stranger and they are beaming at you. Was it something you did? Your cool hair that day or fresh threads? Most likely not, they are smiling because, you guessed it, you are smiling. Gratitude does this, it shifts the underlying negative emotion into something positive, and it’s not a bandage when truly felt. Also, it gets better with practice.