These days there seems to be a real emphasis on the practice of gratitude.
The philosophy goes that what you focus on you will get more of. A lot of the time the mind focus’s on scarcity - on not having enough which manifest in the need for more. Therefore keeping gratitude in awareness is the antidote for this dilemma as it reinforces to the mind that it already is abundant.
However is type of gratitude still limited in the sense that it often comes from the egoic perception.
When are we most grateful?
Is it not when our life is improved in some way?
And what life is it that is improved ?
Yes we are most often grateful when the ego self (the one who is the dream figure) has its life improved in some way. We are grateful when we have food on the table, when someone does something kind for us or the weather is just as we want it to be.
Its important to remain grateful for these things because as I already mentioned what we focus on we get more of!
However, this is limited and is not the gratitude A course in miracles is talking about. Gratitude in ACIM is for the forgiveness opportunities the people in our lives and world presents us with. Without these people, situations and events we have no chance to access our unconscious guilt and therefore would remain unhealed. It is precisely at these times that the ego self is most ungrateful as it perceives these things spoil its dream and then believes its attacks are justified.
Along with being grateful for forgiveness opportunities, the second aspect of gratitude in ACIM is for the reality of our brother which is the same as our own. Therefore each thing in the universe brings healing because we can look beyond the seeming appearances of limitation and change and see the changelessness behind all that changes and be grateful. We can be grateful since by seeing the perfection behind each thing we come to remember our own. We therefore justified in gratitude because all things become reminders of this truth.
When we look at life with these 3 reasons to be grateful, then gratitude must be the constant we experience.
Someone does something nice – we are grateful for the love that is being shown.
Someone is being unkind – we are grateful for the chance to heal and practice loving in all situations.
And of course the general gratitude for each person being a reminder of the truth behind appearances.