Aside from turkey and fixings, Thanksgiving is truly a time of gratitude. And other than being nice, there are spiritual benefits of thankfulness that can make us feel more connected to each other and the world. To truly embrace these advantages, it is important to understand first the close relationship between spirituality and gratitude.
Gratitude is a state of mind, as well as a set of observable actions that will highlight the fact that you have something to be thankful for. So why is this important? The answer lies in an aspect that is crucial to our very beings: our egos.
A lot of the emotional pain that we endure can be traced back to our egos being hurt. Whether it is an expectation that was never met, a need that was not satisfied, or a relationship that fell through, every wound inflicted on our spirit tends to hurt more than physical wounds. This pain tends to manifest in a manner that draws in things towards oneself and consumes. Sensations like resentment, hatred, and cynicism are all born from these wounds that tend to be left unaddressed for years.
With the spiritual practice of gratitude, that inwards and destructive focus is shifted towards something more outwards and positive. Instead of how much life has been bad for you, gratitude helps you think that life could be and will be better.
The spiritual practice of gratitude is about seeing the value in everything. Every event in life, no matter how mundane or inconsequential, will ultimately lead to something that will benefit you in the end. The truth is that all that has ever happened in your life has a purpose, even the difficult moments. And because every aspect of life has value for you, you become more grateful.
Spiritual reflections on gratitude do not require you to delve into a specific theology or philosophy. All it requires is for you to realize that, despite life being seemingly unfair and random sometimes, all that has ever happened to you and all that will happen to you serves a grand purpose.
Spiritual Benefits of Gratitude
“The Universe provides abundantly when you’re in a state of gratefulness” – Wayne Dyer
· A Connection to the Universe (the Source)
Even if you are not a religious person, one of the notable spiritual benefits of gratitude is the ability to acknowledge that everything is connected. And since everything is connected, everything that has ever happened to you happens for a reason.
Aside from understanding this interconnectivity, the gratitude spiritual practice helps you acknowledge the presence of a higher power or being. Such entity or force is the one that has guided every aspect of your life to meet a valuable goal in the foreseeable future.
Once you have understood this connection, you start to realize the importance of every event of your life. This is not downplaying the pain that you suffered as they are indeed sad and painful. Gratitude is only allowing you to see things from the wider perspective of a force or being greater than you.
· Inner Peace
The ability to see your pain from a different perspective through gratitude allows you to understand pain. It gives you an understanding of why such things are happening to you. And since they serve a purpose, you allow things to take their course without being bothered internally.
It allows you to understand the way you react to adverse events. Therefore, you can learn to control your negative reactions or try to avoid putting yourself in situations where you manifest such negative reactions.
You become calmer and more resilient by letting things happen while shifting your efforts into more productive ventures. This way, you are bothered less while you seek what truly makes you happy.
· Desire for Self-Improvement
A grateful person focuses less on what is wrong with their life and where they have messed up. Instead, they focus more on the hope that things will become better if they do something about it. Thus, you shift from complaining about your problems to solving them.
Also, the reduced focus on yourself allows you to be more compassionate to others. Gratitude helps you understand that there are people out there who have endured the same pain as you (or worse) and you can do something to help them.
· Manifestation and Goals
The spirit of gratitude also allows you to become more optimistic. This is no mere happy thought as optimism can be made manifest with the goals that you are seeking. The way you frame your goals changes
when you are grateful. Instead of goals that are vague and impossible to achieve, your goals are achievable with a set timeframe and with a plan that details the way you go about achieving them.
Of course, being grateful also helps you become more active in achieving these goals. Thus, by being grateful, you exert more agency in your life.
· Increased Intuition and Alertness
Perhaps one of the best benefits of becoming spiritually grateful is the expansion of the mind’s awareness over the things that the eyes could not see. This does not exactly mean that one becomes all-knowing and all-seeing. However, by becoming spiritually grateful, you are able to perceive things differently as if something from beyond your sight is guiding your every action.
Every human has had this “hunch” or sensation that something will happen or that someone is hiding the truth from them. This is what intuition is, and a spiritually grateful person can become more receptive of such spiritual or divine guidance from beyond.
Whatever the form this intuition takes, a spiritually grateful person will become more perceptive of their surroundings and adjust their actions accordingly. It will become the habit of the spiritually grateful person to seek this guidance from beyond. On their own, that person may or may not choose the best decisions for themselves and for others on that day.
However, with spiritual intuition and awareness, you can get the extra guidance you need to make sure that you can end every day in spiritual fulfillment.
Reprint from Natural Health Solutions Blog