“Living in Gratitude” – A Choice or an Obligation?



“The Soul is like water in its polarity to Spirit. When we become like water, we attract the Divine Will and we become the conduits of the One Force. Water is a reflective mirror. Like the Moon it attracts the light of the Sun and projects images of light into the world of Matter. When our Heart is clear, the light finds us and shines through us. ♥” –
Shannon Port © 2012, The Mirror of the Soul

I picked up this quote from one of the Facebook pages that I subscribe to and it sums up pretty much what I tried to capture in the painting. I did the painting before I even read this quote.

Gratitude can be a loaded word, especially when things in one’s life are falling apart, gratitude will be a far fetched concept.  How can a person living in utter poverty, or violated by crime, war etc., how can people who flee their countries to others for shelter, feel gratitude for the situations that they are in… It sounds preposterous to even suggest that they find something to be thankful for, given their situations.

Lets put those extreme situations aside for a minute.. How many of us who never have faced those situations and are unlikely to face them given where we live –  how many of us live with gratitude?

A person who seemingly has everything can still find something to be unhappy for.  Depression is 21st Century’s biggest disease.  Can Gratitude be an antidote for depression? I am not mocking the serious biological nature of Depression.  However, we have been so conditioned to look at only what is going wrong in our lives and forget or ignore all the other things that are good in our lives and feel discontent which can trigger a type of depression.

If we deliberately live in Gratitude for everything we have, would the world be a better place? Would that help people who are suffering?

Well, it may not help directly, but I think the indirect benefits are far too many.

When I live in gratitude, I am empty with fullness.  As my head gets empty, my heart gets full swelling and overflowing with gratitude.  The result of that would be that my focus is not exclusively on me and I have room to take in others into my heart.  Overflowing Gratitude washes selfishness and self-interest away.  As light is spread before me, above me, below me and around me, I disappear into that light and merge with no identity left of  my own.

How can I ignore the grace flowing in through the sun rays and only look at the muck I stand in from time to time?  How can I forget that the sun rays can dry the muck up and the pure waters can wash it away as well?  What remains after that?

Pure Grace. I am thankful for that light and for that water which shine and purify everything including me.  When I open myself with gratitude to allow that grace to cleanse my heart and flow through, my dissatisfaction and discontent disappears,  judgments drop like autumn leaves.   I gain the capacity to see that even the worst offender has something to teach me.  I begin to touch others (not just people in my immediate circle but everyone) unconditionally and compassionately.  As my life becomes a reflective mirror, it projects images of light into the world of Matter and  my capacity to help and serve selflessly multiplies.

Living in Gratitude is not a Choice but an inherent Obligation, a Duty of ours.

So if you haven’t already, I recommend starting a practice of living in gratitude.  For the next 30 days write 5 things you are grateful for each day.  You cannot repeat the same things.  Instead you will have to find 5 new things each day.  This practice makes one acutely aware of how many things in our lives we take granted for.

Would you like to join me in starting a 30 day practice of ‘living in gratitude’? As we are approaching the end of the year, this would be a good practice to reflect and recapture everything that we are grateful for and say ‘thanks’.

What do you think?

Would love to hear your thoughts..

I am grateful that you took time to read this

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari