"Gratitude is a vaccine,
and an antiseptic."
-- John Henry Jowett
My Life Lessons
This is a series of revelations about my life that I am sharing with others for what it may be worth. These come from a lifetime of study and experience of others and myself, and I now translate them to words. These will be numbered; however, they are not in order of importance as all are equally important. It is just a way for me to keep track of them in this series. I hope you find value in them.
Life Lesson #9
To say that gratitude has changed my life is so thin--truly, it has TRANSFORMED my life!
Yes. I said these were not in order of importance, for if they were, this topic would be number one. Simply stated, Jim Stephens said it nicely when he said to "Be thankful. Cultivate an "attitude of gratitude." Thankfulness is much more dependent on attitude than circumstance. When you feel the lack of what you don't have, thank God for what you do have!" As nice and well said as that statement is, that statement is thin when it comes to the sheer and real power of gratitude and of becoming a grateful person.
I have adopted an attitude of gratitude from a variety of sources in my studies. First, I have to thank Dr. Gerald Jampolsky and his book that sold in the millions and one that I love to give away to others, Love Is Letting Go Of Fear. That book is mainly about becoming a grateful person and how that is the same as love and love is letting go of the fear in our lives.
Another book that I have read again and again is Dr. John Demartini's, The Gratitude Effect. What a great resource to study and it is broken into sections that span our life's situations. In addition much of Dr. Wayne Dyer's books have reflected this theme and done very well.
I could name a long list of books probably, but for clarity and brevity, there were two other books that were among the most powerful for me in becoming a grateful man. The first of these was The Bible. In particular, the New Testament. The first time I read it in full, I was transformed. The love of Jesus was so profound to me, unlike anything or anyone I had ever or since known. I am not a fan of religion, but there is no doubt of my love for Jesus.
The second was written by what might as well be a mild-mannered reporter like Clark Kent. My wife gave me a book written by a guy named Merlin Carothers, called, Power In Praise. It is without a doubt that this book had a transformative effect on me and how I viewed prayer in particular.
I have become a person who is thankful every single day without exception for many, many things. As a one time worship leader in church, I praise God for the light that enters my eyes so often that it is tantamount to St. Paul's teaching to pray unceasingly. Being human with memory tapes running from time to time, I sometimes look with a certain judgment in my demeanor, and then very quickly come back to my center and praise instead. It is amazing the difference in me when that happens.
Nothing in my entire life holds a candle to my transformation of becoming grateful for everything in my life whether some may consider good or bad, I am grateful for all. I now know what Joseph Campbell meant when he said to "follow your bliss." It is surely and absolutely bliss.
Make no mistake. Gratitude is love. The more grateful, the more loving. After several years now of growing and blossoming gratitude, my love for everyone around me is full engaged. I have no enemies. I know of no one that I do not love. And, if I did, it would not last very long.
I know this may sound all mushy and sloppy, but it is so powerfully true to me that just to think about it brings tears of joy. What an amazing transformation that I am eternally grateful for.
Attitude Of Gratitude? Gratitude Is ALL Attitude!
Spread Some Joy Today--BE THANKFUL!