Gratitude is the anointing of increase.
Rev. Lloyd Strom
But that’s not why we’re grateful—it’s just an added benefit. Gratitude opens the channels, it opens the receptors. It feels good to experience and to be around. One of the most beautiful women I’ve ever known, Faye, who died in her late nineties, had a radiance around her. The first words out of her mouth as the response to almost any comment or question was, “Oh, my dear, I’m just so grateful for everything.” Know lots of other folks like that? Didn’t think so—they’re hard to come by.
I remember a friend once telling of group of us that he was in a funk that day until he asked his roommate, “If you could do anything today, what would it be?” His roommate, who happened to be in a wheelchair, answered, “I’d go for a walk in the park and sit under a tree.” Our friend realized that he’d already done that that day—but hadn’t noticed the miracle of the park or the tree or the day or even the fact that he could walk because of his funk.
Funks have their place and time, too, though, as does anger and as does being frozen in fear as well as anything and everything else we encounter on the emotional highway. It’s just staying stuck there that is the problem.
Gratitude is the anointing of increase because anything we are grateful for increases. “Thank you for all the money that flows through my life” is far more attractive to the law of increase than, “Oh, no! What am I going to do to pay the mortgage?” The fear pervades, often blocking the solution. Giving thanks—remember in Conversations With God?—opens the receptors.
Serge Kahili King, a Hawaiian Shaman, recommended blessing everything around us as the fastest route to success and prosperity: “Thank you for the trees, thank you for the telephone poles, thank you for the telephones.” It’s hard to be in a negative state when blessing everything that blesses our lives—and the uplifted feeling of love, of gratitude is a far greater attractor to the life of our dreams than negativity or complaining. It’s also far more fun to experience and far more fun to be around. Edwene Gaines recommends not complaining about anything for a week, and if we break it, to start again—for a week. I think it’s a plot to get us all to stop complaining forever. And wouldn’t that be lovely?!
Now complaining has its place—in journaling and therapy and to your best friend to rout out the negativity, in a letter to the president of a company whose environmental policies you abhor, at the PTA meeting discussing the lack of proper materials in the school. A constructive complaint in the proper forum can be productive and get vital things changed or accomplished. Complaining to our journals, counselors, or close friends can serve to release our feelings—because we cannot ignore what is causing the complaint either. All negativity needs to be expressed and dissolved; otherwise it can poison a relationship, a situation, or our bodies. (Remember Glenn with the knife?) But if complaining has become a way of life—and we all know those people, the ones we avoid whenever possible—then it’s time to dislodge the habit. Notice anyone avoiding you lately? And as we create the life of our vision, the negativity decreases, the tendency to complain subsides.
Gratitude opens the heart. It’s vitally important to do whatever it takes for this feeling to permeate life: work with those less fortunate, spend an hour in nature, pray, release, watch children play. Claim gratitude by blessing. Bless everyone around us realizing their visions, which will make our world all the more wonderful.
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