Cultivating Gratitude

I will be brief today. Living a life of gratitude is one of the most powerful spiritual practices we can learn to cultivate in our lives. So often I have heard people mouth the words "it's all good" while living and expressing a life of pain and suffering. I am talking about cultivating a authentic true sense of gratitude for life and all of lifes experiences. 
        Cultivating a sense of gratitude does not mean ignoring or pretending that there are not challenges and experiences that disturb us or cause us pain. It means feeling authentically all aspects of an experience but allowing yourself to move and grow in consciousness and awareness of how a particular situation or experience may have been a blessing you just did not recognize.To be perfectly clear this is a process. Seeing the good in tough situations is counter intuitive and not something we are trained to do from an early age. It takes time, energy, and commitment. As part of the process, though, we can even be grateful for our willingness to try. 
     One of the things I have noticed after participating in our seven week series on Radical Forgiveness is that cultivating the sense of gratitude in all situations assists me in my forgiveness work and in letting go. I am able to notice my stories quicker, experience the feeling more completely, and let go of the pain faster. The work of forgiveness and gratitude, at least for me, seem to go hand in hand. It is difficult, though sometimes I still want to hold on to my judgments and feelings, to continue to hold unforgiving thoughts when I have moved to a place of gratitude. 
      One last thought. Cultivating a sense of gratitude will shift how you/I experience the world. Unity teaches that through the power of our thoughts we create the reality we live in. When I am feeling and living a life of gratitude I see the world from a different vantage point. There are still things happening that disturb my peace but I am more easily able to see the beauty of the world and humanity.