Belief in Gratitudeby download here.
In the second installment, Linda Douty examines belief as a way to point ourselves in the right direction. She begins by discussing the scientific evidence that affirms gratitude's ability to make a lasting and measurable difference in our lives, and that tells us "that we not only need thankfulness, but we may actually be wired for it. It is a state of the soul that enhances both health and happiness.”
She then addresses the fallacies that are so often held up as thankfulness, pointing out what gratitude is, and what it is NOT. This better understanding can help us step closer to gratitude as a way of being in the world, and not simply a way of behaving.
Gratitude is Not Gullibility
“Deep, abiding joy can exist in one’s life at the same time as desperate circumstances. When we dig down to the truth of something, sometimes paradox is the only way to express it.”
Gratitude is Not
“[Guilt] is often where we begin in our journey toward a thankful heart. We hope, however, that it isn’t where we end.”
Gratitude is Not
“In our privileged culture, we tend to see blessing confined to that which gets good results, producing happiness and prosperity, favors that can be catalogued and counted. As we move toward a more profound understanding of gratitude, we must be willing to include the wholeness of Life—both the light and the dark and the holy potential in each.… Being thankful for our blessings does not mean we are entitled to them or deserve them.”
What gratitude IS.
“Studies and statistics are piling up from sources such as quantum physics and the behavioral sciences, all of which say that gratitude is good for us. It grounds us in something solid and sustaining and, yes, sacred. The unity and oneness spoken about in the Bible and other texts is spoken of in science as a unified field of which we are all a part.”
"While gratitude is sometimes a thank-you for something specific, it is most deeply realized through a process that simply happens."
“Just like the loaves and fishes, gratitude grows. The more one says thank you, the more one sees things for which to give thanks. A spirit of thanksgiving is contagious. Being around grateful people makes us likely to catch this delightful disease.”
Belief in the life-affirming, grace-filled and grounding qualities of thankfulness is a beginning point from which we can move toward a place of gratitude. Unfortunately, there are barriers that can make our journey tough going. The next installment addresses how we can move beyond these barriers, and continue toward a thankful heart.