Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. Colossians 4:2 (MSG)
Eyes Wide Open in Gratitude – The Gratitude Series – Part 5
Gratitude is the birthplace of meaning.
Thankfulness is incredibly grounding. It takes you from being all alone in the world, to seeing that you are part of a great masterpiece, anything but all by yourself. It’s clarifying.
Colossians 4:2 says: “Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude.”
Now, we know the prayer is more than words. It’s being open and awake to God in us, around us, and through us. It’s connectivity to The Divine. Gratitude helps you keep your eyes open.
Test it for yourself. When you’re feeling particularly down and hard done by; or when you’re feeling ticked off with everyone; or when you’re so full of pride you have trouble going through front doors and under bridges: take a moment and find some things to be grateful for.
The science tells us that choosing specific things rather than the ambiguous, is more beneficial. For instance, You can be thankful for your mum. Or you can be thankful that your mum brought over a batch of soup the other night and did your dishes for you. Dig down into the details of it.
You’ll find that people/things/situations that you thought were hopeless, annoying, complicated, too far gone, can often be redeemed in your mind by a simple awareness and practice of gratitude. For eg. I was angry at someone the other week, and everything they said and did I perceived from that place of anger. I made judgments and assumptions and finally said to Jesse (husband): “That’s it, I’m done with them.” He asked me to practice some gratitude around this person. It took some discipline and some time, but when I started calling out and naming the specific things about this person, and that the person had done for me, and gave thanks for them one by one, my vision of the situation changed. The clouds left, and I could see clearly.
It’s easy to take people and things for granted; it's so easy (and human) to get stuck focusing on the negative things that are happening in your life; it’s so easy to think that you got by on your own, and you’re better off that way… but gratitude shines a light on those situations and tells the truth of your connectedness, of how even at this moment, even that person, even in this situation, there is goodness and beauty. Gratitude brings you back down to earth and reminds you of what's important.
It births meaning into your life. Gratitude makes you notice your kid trying to get your attention; makes you walk through the park a little slower; makes you see that the pain you’re in isn’t the only thing you’re experiencing; makes you take a second look, give something another go, try again, finally move on, breathe in deep.
Gratitude grounds you in what is truly meaningful in life. Which is always your connection with your true self, The Divine, and others. It’s how you keep your eyes open.
Written by Liz Milani
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