I have been realizing lately that no matter how much I talk about the importance of gratitude and in my head value it, I just have had the hardest time grasping how to actually live in a state of gratitude- does it mean being joyful? I guess that's a part of it, not taking things for granted? well yes- but HOW do you take action along those lines and not let it sit in your head as an unexpressed ideal. I found a baha'i quote this morning that really helped me understand this concept of gratitude more deeply and Thank you Abdu'l-Baha for this:
"To thank God for His bounties consisteth in possessing a radiant heart and a soul open to the promptings of the spirit. This is the essence of thanksgiving."
So... prompting ="carried out or performed without delay"
So often I feel an urge to take some positive action however subtle or monumental and I hesitate...I think out of laziness. Not that I am by nature lazy- I believe by nature I am a completely tuned in, at one, and motivated to act on all spiritual urges. I'm really not sure what it is that stops me but by stopping I think I desensitize myself to the spiritual urges. So I'm making an effort to act on all spiritual promptings however big or small. Kind of like in that movie Yes Man- maybe not quite so extreme but to some extent I have a tendency to drift into no man land- saying no to all impulses and invitations from people, my mind, my family's invites and it is sort of an ungrateful stance- like saying I'd rather not take that gift actually, I'd rather hide out in my den of cozy misery and remain afraid of daily social interaction....Ok, well maybe that is a little exaggeration of reality but you get what I mean...Hopefully. ; )