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The Way to a Wonderful Life Message for November 20, 2016

            Gratitude . . . or the sense of being thankful comes from a generous heart.  Whether we are giving or receiving a sense of gratitude will keep us in alignment with Infinite Goodness.  When we give with a sense of gratefulness toward God for having something to give ... we will have more to give.  And when we receive with a sincere sense of gratitude toward the giver and toward God ... we will receive even more still.  Gratitude is an attracting energy like faith ... it automatically attracts more of what it is grateful for.

        A true sense of gratitude is not perfunctory.  There are people who automatically send out thank you cards or thank people but have no true sense of appreciation.  We lose our sense of gratitude by declaring that we are thankful or grateful when we are not ... when we truly don't feel grateful ... the Infinite cannot be mocked ... and the Infinite is always the Giver no matter who may be the person giving the gift.  This is also true when we are the person giving the gift ... our lack of gratitude for being able to give will diminish our appreciation for life.

      The feelings that block us from a true sense of gratitude have to do with our self-esteem ... ingratitude is the opposite of deserving.  If we don't feel deserving of receiving it is difficult if not impossible to foster the sense of gratitude.  People who feel un-deserving will often look for a motive as to why they are receiving ... often thinking that the giver wants something in return.  But the person giving with a true sense of gratitude gives the person receiving an opportunity to feel deserving ... when they do not ... the giver is not diminished but the real gift ... the gift of deserving ... is not received.  This is what the Master Mind Jesus was referring to when He stated, "do not cast your pearls before swine."  There are those who have created such a strong separation between them and Good (God) that they cannot realize any real sense of gratitude ... they are immediately suspicious of people who give to them.

      There is only One Giver and that Is God ... but God gives through many channels ... no matter who we may be receiving from ... that which we are receiving is from God.  And we would have nothing to give unless God gave to us first.  We are always only giving that which God has given us to give ... and we are always only receiving that which God wants us to receive.  Both the giver and receiver reside in our very own consciousness.  It is a consciousness that has a healthy sense of gratitude established that gives and receives with the same appreciation and joy.

Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted--a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.Rabbi Harold Kushner

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.” – Buddha

        “The reason we can make our requests known with thanksgiving is because we know from the beginning that we are to receive and therefore we cannot help being thankful. This grateful attitude to the Spirit puts us in very close touch with power and adds much to the reality of the thing we are dealing with. Without it we can do but little. So let us cultivate all the gratitude that we can. In gratitude we will send our thoughts out into the world, and as it comes back it will come laden with the fruits of the Spirit.” – Dr. Ernest Holmes, Creative Mind and Success

     Thanksgiving Day in the United States is Thursday, November 24th ... but we can choose any day to be a day of thanksgiving, no matter where we are.  A day of Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to be at-one with G-d, the Good that we have received, and the Good that is unfolding for us from the Great Un-Seen.  In the words of wisdom from Rabbi Harold Kushner, we can see something that most of us experience daily, that is, a taking for granted the things that we have received.  Most of us, of course, are grateful for paved roads and washing machines, but few of us express gratitude for these things or the countless other good things that are in our experience that make our lives more comfortable and gives life a greater ease.  All the things that we take for granted have come to us from the same Mind, G-d, as the things that we pray for and hope for, and expect.  We are blessed, and most of us, immensely blessed, yet we fail to recognize this Truth and therefore fail to express our gratitude for all that we have been given.

Now, I am not saying this to make any of us feel bad or become defensive, but to point out, with love, that Thanksgiving is our opportunity to spend some time focusing on all that we have received, not just personally, but collectively as well.  It is this opening our mind to what we have that builds within us a greater feeling of gratitude.  And this greater feeling of gratitude attracts even more to us ... more good, more love, more joy, and so on.  Some of us get so fixated on the things that we have not received yet, or the things that we feel we have lost, that our mind does not process any great feeling of gratitude easily.  But, no matter what it is that we do not have yet or what we have lost ... "... at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful," said the Buddha.  And, in reality, not dying is definitely something to be grateful for, because as long as we are living, we have the opportunity to realize wonderful changes in our lives and more to be grateful for.

     No one likes to feel that they are taken for granted, it makes us feel out of balance with Life.  We cannot ignore our responsibility to recognize and express that which we are grateful for, as our thoughts of gratitude or lack of thoughts of gratitude, are creating patterns of thought that attract to us that which is like them.  I often refer to the Master Mind Jesus' teaching in Luke 19:26, "I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."  In this statement from his philosophy, we can see that Jesus was indeed a spiritual genius.  We have been given life so that we may enjoy it and experience as much of it as we can accept for ourselves.  But, we can't multiply our Good, if we don't recognize the Good that we already have.  The Master Mind Jesus knew that we must consciously have a feeling of gratitude, for gratitude is a feeling of "having" ... and this feeling of having, brings us into at-one-ment with the Source of All-Good, G-d, and opens our mind to the infinite abundance that is available to us all ... and the more of it that we can experience.  Dr. Domenic Polifrone, often, began his prayer-treatments with, "I rejoice and give thanks ... " and these words create the opening in consciousness to accept our good.

     Only two other countries celebrate Thanksgiving in similar ways as the United States, Canada and Germany.  But, as I stated above, we can choose any day to be a day of thanksgiving.  True thanksgiving is a mental activity and a spiritual one as well.  As we take the time to express our gratitude for the things that we have been blessed with, we shall experience a greater feeling of joy almost immediately.  This is evidence that we are touching our soul and in turn our soul is connecting with the Soul of the Universe.

               Lavish words of appreciation, gratitude and thanksgiving, provides not only a lift to our spirit, but also to our physical body and our emotional center.  Expressing our gratitude in words ... in prayer ... and in silent meditation ... feeling gratitude to G-d ... expressing gratitude to the people in our lives, and to those who have supported us in our good who are no longer with us ... recognizing what we have and are grateful for ... takes time ... and for most of us a single day of thanksgiving is not enough time.  Yet, whatever time we spend in our expression of gratitude, it will, with certainty, multiply the Good that we are grateful for.


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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