Gratitude: The Key to a Fabulous,
Peace-Filled Life

Gratitude is one of two rockstar antidotes to bitterness, resentment, and anger along with the freeing power of forgiveness.  Gratitude also walks hand in hand with love and with humility which invites the Holy Spirit within our lives to teach us, guide us, and comfort us thereby bringing peace into our lives.

My Learning Experience with Gratitude

At a time when I had gone through some challenges which affected me quite personally, I found myself replying , when asked how I was doing, "I'm doing good, but... I am not ready to say that I am grateful for my experiences yet." I distinctly remember giving this response on at least two separate occasions.

Not too many weeks or months later, I was reading a book in which the author told of an experience where he was financially ruined in his business by those whom he considered to be his friends. He became full of anger and hate.

Every time he thought about what had happened, the rage would well up inside of him. It began to affect him physically. Eventually the time came when he knew he had to take care of these feelings or they would literally kill him.

He was prompted through the Holy Spirit and from studying the scriptures to get on his knees and express gratitude for every experience in his life - even the hurtful, challenging ones. With extreme difficulty, forcing himself, he was able to get the words out.

As the words began to tumble out, he felt the huge burden of rage and bitterness lift from him. As months and years passed, he came to understand the great gift that had been given to him through this experience.  He realized that the humility it caused him to have allowed him to later on be open to sacred experiences associated with his daughter in a way which never would have happened had he not gone through the hurtful experience.

In reading this man's story I knew that I was being told that it was time for me to be grateful for my experiences.  I came to know and understand more fully that we have a loving Heavenly Father who is very aware of each of our individual lives and circumstances.  He is in charge and there is a purpose to everything.  I needed to trust and be grateful
for every experience - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

As I have come to feel more gratitude in my life I have experienced more peace and serenity.   I have come to understand the perfectness of all situations and their capacity for teaching.  I worry less because I know God is in charge and He knows what is best for me. 

Give Thanks and Appreciation for ALL Things and ALL Circumstances

M. Catherine Thomas, author of Light in the Wilderness - Explorations in the Spiritual Life teaches in her book:
"The secret to working a gratifying alchemy on trials is to give thanks for all circumstances -- not just the obvious blessings, the good things, but the inconvenient events, the annoying, and even the very bad ones too. The reason is that heartfelt thanks opens us to the interior Light that always provides something in return for loss. A state of thankfulness becomes a purifying way-of-being that opens the soul to experiences of glory. It can soften grief. A Spirit-filled principle, it enables the soul to experience a universe richly endowed in the smallest details by the Great and Present Creator. A second-sight develops which permits us to see the Lord's love radiating in Nature, at work both in those around us and in life's daily details. As we express our thanks to Him and to each other, we create a peaceful, enlightened, and spiritual atmosphere. Our thanks replace the griping, the self-pity, the murmuring against events and people, the feelings of being overwhelmed, the wrenching fear, also the pride, the arrogance, the self-righteousness. We give each other nourishing strength in our quiet acceptance and faith."

Christ's Example

Jesus Christ taught through His example that a grateful heart is a heart close to God.  Before raising Lazarus from the dead, he "lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me" (John 11:41).  Christ gave thanks to God before feeding more than four thousand people with seven loaves and a few small fishes (Matt. 15?36).  At the time of the Last Supper right before his crucifixion we read …..(Matt. 26:27-28).  Jesus took the cup at the Last Supper and again gave thanks to his Father, even though the drink represented the shedding of his own blood.

Gratitude Brings Humility

Gratitude walks hand in hand with love and with humility, each of which invites the Holy Spirit within our lives to teach us, guide us and comfort us.  Where gratitude walks, bitterness, resentment and anger must depart.  They cannot and do not share the same paths.

Gratitude Leads to Repentance

Gratitude leads one to repentance. When one feels gratitude one realizes the areas where selfishness has reigned within one's self and the desire to repent is born.

MELODIE BEATTIE:
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Those who choose to become bitter and angry rather than trusting and turning to God are only hurting themselves.  It is implying that you know better than God what is right for you to experience.

When we acknowledge the hand of God in our lives and in his creations, we invite the Spirit to bear witness of a loving Father in Heaven and a brother who gave His very life for us.

What if you agreed to certain experiences before coming to earth?  And now you are angry over something you helped to plan and participate in, in order to progress.

Bonnie D. Parkin, a past LDS general Relief Society President:

"Gratitude is a Spirit-filled principle. It opens our minds to a universe permeated with the richness of a living God. Through it, we become spiritually aware of the wonder of the smallest things, which gladden our hearts with their messages of God's love. This grateful awareness heightens our sensitivity to divine direction. When we communicate gratitude, we can be filled with the Spirit and connected to those around us and the Lord. Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence."

How Do We Develop Gratitude?

Emoto's Water Picture "Love and Gratitude."

EO of Gratitude

Tapping in Gratitude for my mistakes

D & C 59:21  "And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is His wrath kindled, save those who confess not His hand in all things and obey not His commandments."

Gratitude Brings Increased Cooperation

Where I used to work we dealt with many wonderful clients.  We would bend over backwards for those who were truly appreciative of our best efforts even if they were not always perfect.

On the other side, there was an occasional client who would come in very demanding and expecting to be waited on at the expense of others.  I observed that the tendency was for us to get our backs up (although we would try not to) and although the client would likely get their immediate wish because they were so demanding, ultimately they hurt themselves because there would be a lack of willingness to be helpful and bend over backwards on our part later on.

I believe that this is common no matter what business we are talking about.  Everyone likes to be appreciated.  Society would be much happier if we all felt and expressed gratitude more often.

Conclusion

Gratitude is truly one of the great antidotes to anger, bitterness and resentment.  Just as the saying, "When faith knocks at the door, fear disappears,"  is very true so is the idea that when one is grateful, resentment, bitterness and/or anger can have no place.  Gratitude unlocks the door to joy and peace.




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Disclaimer:  The information provided here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment or prescription for any disease.  The decision to use, or not to use, any of this information is the sole responsibility of the reader. Please consult with a licensed health care practitioner if you are dealing with a serious disease or illness.



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