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Thoughts on Gratitude
Quotes and Reflections by Chris Mathe, PhD
Our eyes are opened to that surprise character of the world around us the moment we wake up from taking things for granted. For example, a rainbow always comes as a surprise. Gratuitousness bursts in on us, the gratuitousness for all there is. When this happens, our spontaneous response is surprise. It is also the beginning of gratefulness… Do we find it difficult to imagine that gratefulness could ever become our basic attitude toward life? In moments of surprise we catch at least as glimpse of the joy to which gratefulness opens the door. What counts on our path to fulfillment is that we remember the great truth that moments of surprise want to teach us: everything is a gift. The degree to which we are awake to this truth is the measure of our gratefulness. And gratefulness is the measure of our aliveness.
~ Brother David Steindl-Rast
Gratitude focuses our attention on the good things in life. It takes our blessings and multiplies them. When we joyfully express appreciation, it opens our hearts and allows us to experience more love.
~ Daniel T. Peralta
Gratitude is our heart-filled thankfulness in action. It is a living expression of our connectedness with everything around us. All that happens in our lives can be viewed through the eyes of abundance and deepening wisdom. Continuously acknowledging our thanks with compassionate attention and mindful action is the essence of a fulfilled life. ~ Chris Mathe, PhD
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~ Melody Beattie
There is a calmness to a life lived in Gratitude, a quiet joy. ~ Ralph H. Blum
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts. ~ David O. McKay
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
~ William Arthur Ward
Our indebtedness is not virtue; our repayment is. Virtue begins when we dedicate ourselves actively to the job of gratitude. ~ Ruth Benedict
Affirmations are one of the most powerful ways to help us change the way we feel at any particular moment. Unlike a general statement of “positive attitude,” an effective affirmation is a custom designed statement that specifically targets your particular negative core beliefs. Since affirmations are, by their very nature, very personal statements, you can create and change your affirmations to suit your present situation and needs.
An effective affirmation has several basic characteristics:
- It is positive
- It is true
- It is stated in the now – present tense
- It is brief and concise
- It uses active language
Here’s how to create an effective affirmation:
- Identify 2-3 negative beliefs (e.g. I’m stupid, I’m unlovable, and I’m not good enough)
- Find the words or phrases that are the opposites of the negative beliefs and are true about you (e.g. I’m smart; I’m lovable; and I’m more than good enough)
- Arrange these words and phrases into a short statement that feels right to you – a statement that “sings” to you (e.g. I am a smart and lovable man who is more than good enough).
You can create affirmations for your general life and affirmations specifically designed for a particular challenge in your life. All you have to do is start with the particular negative beliefs – the negative statements you say about yourself – with regard to the challenge you are facing. Then just do the next two steps above to create the affirmation.