2. Heart of Gratitude
Points to Ponder:
Cultivating a heart of gratitude is a powerful habit in our day to day lives. It helps us cultivate a sensitivity to God’s love and develop our child’s heart, deepening our parent child relationship.
We may not always have a say in the way our journey unfolds, how or when things happen, or the decisions made by those around us; however, we can strive to choose to respond with a heart of gratitude in every situation – not only when things go well.
Cultivating such a heart helps us see God in every situation: in joyful, happy situations we can honor and thank God; in challenging situations we find God’s perspective and the meaning and lessons behind difficulties.
There is nothing to lose by being grateful. Grateful people always advance forward and grow because they are not discouraged by tough circumstances. They find value in every situation. Gratitude attracts a positive and healthy spiritual world, and moves God’s heart.
On the contrary, an ungrateful attitude, or habit of complaint, brings ourselves and others around us down. Complaint attracts a negative spiritual world and creates a distance from God. Complaint often limits us from seeing the bigger picture and context of the situations we might find ourselves in. This in turn causes unhappiness and frustration.
True Parents are the champions of gratitude; when we cultivate a grateful heart – we make a strong bond of heart, and common base with True Parents. True Mother’s life goal is to be grateful in every situation – more grateful today than yesterday and tomorrow more tomorrow than today. True Father persevered through countless difficulties by keeping a grateful perspective. Likewise, many great men and women have been able to transcend much of what life brings their way by cultivating a heart of gratitude.
Discussion questions for before/after the reading:
- Can you think of a time when choosing to have a heart of gratitude, impacted the outcome of a situation or made you approach a challenge differently?
“My motto in life is “How can I live today with more gratitude than yesterday?” I have tried to live a life in which I am more grateful today than I was yesterday, and in which I will be even more grateful tomorrow than I am today. It has been my life’s goal to have gratitude in my heart every day. Right before True Father left for Danbury, he said, “Please never complain. You should be grateful for the position you have been placed in, for when you become completely one through your gratitude, great miracles can take place..” – TM, CBMG, pg 1560.
“Your mind and body unite when you are truly 100 percent grateful. When this happens, those around you become happier. If you live your life with a heart of gratitude for the blessings heaven has given you, I think you will be able to create even more joy among those around you, and you will be able to spread the blessings to your family, society, nation, and world.” – CBMG, pg 1560
“The more gratitude you have, the deeper the love that flows into you. The more you share it, the more of God’s love you will receive. You receive it in the proportion to the gratitude you share…. In order to receive love and blessings, we need to live a life of gratitude. When we encounter misfortunes, God knows about it… And when we are in such a position and we are still able to deal with it and digest it with gratitude, God will count us as trustworthy. When we are able to overcome even such situations, we will receive blessings that cannot be found anywhere else. This principle is at work in the world.” – CBMG, pg 1561
“When we thinking about the fact that God has labored for us until this day, and that He is fulfilling 95 percent of the mission of paving the world-level pioneer course that we need to follow, we cannot but be grateful to Him. In fact, the very essence of a life of faith is to be grateful to God. When you have such a heart, it can be the basis on which you can form a relationship with Him. Should we be grateful only when we find ourselves in good situations? Of course not. God has not labored for us until this day only when things were going well for Him. The more difficult the situation, the harder and more resolutely He has worked. This is why in order for us to attend God as our Father, we should be grateful to Him for having worked and fought His way through on our behalf. We should not do so only when we are well off, but all the more when we are in difficult situations.” – CBMG, pg 1561
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Find your favorite quote on gratitude and write it down on a notecard. When you wake up each morning this week, mediate on the words. At the end of the day, on the back of the notecard, jot down 2-3 things you were grateful for from the day.