Practicing gratitude helps to improve our spiritual, mental and physical well-being. The dictionary describes gratitude as “the quality of feeling or being grateful or thankful.” [i] When a person has been hurt, bullied, abandoned, mistreated or otherwise finds him/herself in an unhappy or unhealthy circumstance, it is difficult to think about being thankful or grateful. However, the spiritual principle is about focusing on the positive things because what we focus on increases or comes to pass.
In a dire state of mind, sometimes it is difficult to make that shift from worrying about the negative to having faith in the positive. Writing a list of things, people and circumstances for which we are grateful can help us to change that focus.
Recently, a friend sent me an email about appreciation, which seemed to me more meaningful than the word gratitude. We can get hung up on words and when someone describes something in a different way or uses a different word, we are able to better understand the concept. I found this writing about appreciation to be more meaningful to me.
The dictionary offers several meanings for the word appreciation, which are similar to the definition of gratitude, but one of the definitions particularly stuck out for me. In accounting, when we refer to something increasing in value, we use the word appreciation, “an increase or rise in value; act of estimating the quality of things and giving value.”[ii] This clearly states the relationship between recognizing the positive and increasing it. In his book, Prosperity, Charles Filmore wrote about this same universal law of increase stating, “Never allow yourself to come under the control of the “I can’t” man. He believes in limitations, wraps his talent in them, and hides it away in the negative earth and no increase is possible to him. Be positive in Spirit and you will succeed (p. 82).”[iii]
Filmore goes on to say, “Use the talent of life, and it will expand wonderfully.” Use the talent of life by being grateful for it and focusing on the love of life.
“Let us make this a day of appreciation. It may be silent appreciation of
someone who comes to mind; it may be appreciation that we put into words.
It may be an email, a written note, a telephone call made. As we express
appreciation for others, we can't help but attract love and appreciation
into our own lives.
You serve God today by being ever watchful over your thoughts, words, and
deeds, always striving to create goodwill and to be a constructive
influence in your world.”[iv]
© 2015 Dr. Carla Weaver
[i]Dictionary.com, retrieved on March 5, 2015 from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gratitude?s=t
[ii]Dictionary.com, retrieved on March 5, 2015 from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/appreciation?s=t
[iii] Filmore, C. (1998). Unity Village, MO: Unity Books.
[iv] Positive Christianity, Positivedailyinspiration, retrieved on February 25, 2015 from www.PositiveChristianity.org