If someone asked you if you are grateful for the blessings in your life, you’d say of course! How could you not be? Yet, if you were then asked how you actively express your gratitude, you might not be able to answer. Most of us show thanks when we receive a gift or when someone does a favor for us. But how often do you express your appreciation unsolicited? To dig even deeper, how often do you think of the challenges in your life with gratitude? The Kabbalah Centre teaches that gratitude for blessings and lessons is the bridge that helps us build positive relationships, happiness, and miracles.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort to show gratitude when something positive happens in our lives. We’re happy to express our thanks in these situations. However, it’s not as easy to see challenges as blessings, and even harder to feel grateful for them. When we run into obstacles in life it’s tempting to adopt a victim attitude or blame others for making our lives harder or preventing us from achieving our goals. What’s important to remember is there are no chance encounters in life. Each person that crosses your path provides us an opportunity to grow. And for that they deserve our gratitude, as well.
But how can we offer thanks to the person who cuts us off while driving? Or to the boss who hands us more busy work? When obstacles are placed in our path, they invite us to problem solve, reflect, and grow. (Whether we actually do or not is entirely up to us.) Those who challenge us are channels of Light. They are helping us learn about ourselves, learn about life, and increase our consciousness. Rav Berg once said, “The moment appreciation is lost, the relationship is lost.” When we neglect to show our gratitude, we are cutting ourselves off from the source of more blessings.
There are countless things to be thankful for every day. Being actively grateful can positively impact one’s attitude and approach to life. It’s the active part that is key. That means taking time to reflect – keeping a gratitude journal, writing a thank-you card, or coming up with ways you can return the favor. Of course, we can always pick up the phone and tell someone how he or she has impacted your life for the better. But, showing your thankfulness through action is the highest form of gratitude. As Michael Berg says, “Even a simple spiritual tool like appreciation can reveal new Light if we don’t settle for expressing it in words, but take action to show our gratitude.”
Although, it is best to say thank you right away, it’s never too late to express your gratitude, even if it is for something someone did for you years ago. What blessings have you been given over the course of your life? An employer who took a chance on you, a mentor or coach who didn’t accept less than your best, a friend who helped you through a troubling time—each of them deserve gratitude.
Kabbalistically, giving thanks in earnest creates more Light in the world. We can show our gratitude with a smile, a note, a handshake, or any number of small gestures. When we go out of our way to thank someone, it makes the person being thanked feel as if they have made a difference in the world. In turn, they are more likely to continue to do good things for others and the cycle continues. "When we live with a consciousness of gratitude,” says Karen Berg, “viewing every day as a Divine gift, our life can grow and flourish with miracles.” The act of being thankful can improve your relationships, wellbeing, and invite more blessings into your life. Reach out and show your appreciation.
“Start every day by taking a moment to ground yourself in the here-and-now. When you do, you will realize that you have never been in this moment before; it’s unique, so savor every aspect of its newness.” ~Michael Berg