Since Thanksgiving, I have been contemplating gratitude and exploring ways to cultivate more of it within myself. In my research, I have found many perspectives on the subject and discovered various aspects of healing and opening that come from practicing gratitude on a daily basis. The following quote reminded me that adversity in my life is also valuable:
"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude." Ralph Waldo Emerson
In addition, I discovered a 17th C. Dutch philosopher, Rabbi Baruch Spinoza (pictured above). He was apparently a very controversial figure in his time, but in his wisdom, suggested we develop gratitude daily by asking ourselves these 3 questions: 1)Who or what inspired me today? 2) What brought me happiness today? 3) What brought me comfort and deep peace today?
Now that I am engaged in my cultivating-gratitude-healing-journey, I am answering his questions. I would have to say that Rabbi Spinoza inspired me today to commit to a new practice of cultivating gratitude. Ralph Waldo Emerson brought me happiness today because knowing that even my suffering is something I can be grateful for, and that it, too, has served a purpose. And what brought me comfort and deep peace today was my meditation after sitting with these newfound truths, as well as the gratitude I am feeling for so many things in my life.