Heal Yourself With Gratitude

While it is all very well to ask God for this and that in your prayers, consider being thankful for all the spiritual help you receive at every moment of every day. Be thankful for the perpetual guidance of spirit beings and the benefit of spiritual energies that allow you to become all you can be, not just for yourself but for all others.

And with all your prayers give thanks—ascend to worship.

The Urantia Book

With the continuing troubles in the world, it is easy to be cynical. But for those who think life has never been as bad as it is now, I urge you to honestly examine what human societies were like 100 years ago, or 500 years ago, or 10,000 years ago. Only a long-term view of social history can offer any balanced perspective when it comes to judging the spiritual progress of humanity and the evolution of civilization.

Yes, Things Are Better

History and archaeology can firmly attest that, from an extended perspective, humanity is on a path of progressive evolution and enlightenment, a path that can no longer be inhibited by ignorance and fear. Thankfully, this positive and heartening trend is receiving more attention in recent literature, as seen through the works of Johan Norberg, Hans Rosling, and Stephen Pinker.

Rosling maintains that humanity is prone to the “negativity instinct,” a tendency to see the worst in things. But in almost every major category of civilization, such as education, human rights, or health care, things are much better worldwide than they were even fifty years ago. We should be thankful for the increasing well-being and goodness in the world, while keeping in mind that we still have a long way to go, and things can be much better yet.

The Positive Power of Gratitude

According to Psychology Today, those who are more thankful feel less pain, less stress, and sleep better. They are also less prone to depression, have stronger immune systems, have healthier relationships, and do better in all walks of life.

We become grateful by looking for the good rather than the bad. This includes looking for the good in all people, in society at large, and in all pressing moments. Avoid darkening your mind with cynicism, bitterness, sarcasm, or doubt—these are not spiritual attitudes. Be grateful for the little things.

Having said that, I sympathize with the many unfortunate souls who have suffered much in life and who may find it difficult to give thanks for anything. For those who feel that life has treated them unfairly, I can only draw their attention to people like Helen Keller, who overcame the challenge of being deaf and blind since she was a child but went on to become one of the greatest inspirational teachers in America.

Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

– Helen Keller

Just as impressive is Nick Vujicic, a man born without arms or legs but who overcame this tremendous challenge in life, eventually emerging as one of the most touching examples of how God can work through an individual of faith to inspire and motivate a whole generation.

I’m not a religionist who believes we must suffer in order to know God—far from it. But we cannot escape the fact that many people have suffered and still do. Ideally, all people of the world should step up to help those less fortunate.

Even so, those who have suffered greatly are left with the choice of giving in and giving up, or of overcoming their challenges and becoming better for it. Along with people like Keller and Vujicic, are thousands of other remarkable individuals who have overcome tremendous difficulties in life—Christopher Reeve, Nelson Mandela, Bethany Hamilton, Franklin Roosevelt, and Ludvig Van Beethoven are but a few.

The Swiss-American psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, was a pioneer in near-death studies. After World War II, she worked with Polish refugees and with people who had suffered in concentration camps. What amazed her most in her work was the indomitable spirit of so many people she interviewed.

The most beautiful people we had known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.

– Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

Let God teach you the eternal value of adversity. Come to understand that the spirit way is to be courageous, not cringing in fear; it is stepping up to the challenges of life, not running away from them; it is acting, not procrastinating; it is being persistent, not capricious; and it is being industrious, not indolent.

Great and noble characters are forged in adversity. Learning from our mistakes, our failures, our shortcomings, and our challenges in life is the true test of spiritual status. Those who have the courage and sincerity to follow the lead and inspiration of their Spirit Teacher are those who receive the spiritual gifts of wisdom and insight.

And throughout all these challenges, we should be truly thankful. Never doubt or underestimate the magnificence and power of the spirit domain, which is far greater and far more glorious than you could ever possibly imagine at this time. And never doubt that you can be a unique part of that good spirit.

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you,’ it will be enough.

– Meister Eckhart

Do not allow yourself to become jaded by the endless flow of negative media. Look for the good in others, look for the spiritual, look for the love. And give thanks.

Accept and believe that your Creator God loves you with an infinite and eternal love, because that is the truth. And give thanks.

Accept and believe your guardian angels are helping you to advance in the spirit. They may not make your life easy, but they work day and night to help you cultivate and expand your immortal soul. Give thanks.

After you have finished asking God for all the things you want in life for yourself and others, take a moment to thank him for what you have already received and, with faith, for what you will receive. Thank him for the Spirit within you, the Spirit of Truth beside you, and the Holy Spirit of the angels all around you. All this guidance is there for the taking. Give thanks.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to the name of the Most High.

– Psalm 92

Thankfulness is the beginning of worship. It is the beginning of your veneration and adoration for an infinite, eternal, loving, and compassionate Creator of a Universe.

Prayer, thankfulness, worship, meditation, and contemplation are sincere expressions of love and devotion to the higher ideals of divinity. They are effective psychological techniques for putting yourself in contact, or communion, with the very Source of all reality.

See Spirit Contact.