What is meant by the mysterious alchemy of gratitude? Gratitude, when regularly practiced, has magical, transformative power. The positive expressions produce positive results in our circumstances and our relationships. And the opposite is true. Criticism, blame, complaining, and fear increase the likelihood of negative results.
A Powerful Lesson!
This isn’t enough!
Several years ago my late husband Jim and I were trying to dig ourselves our of a deep financial pit.
Most of our income was from checks ranging from $100-$300. One day, while preparing a deposit, I caught myself saying to myself, “This isn’t enough.” I realized I’d been saying that for months each time I added up a deposit. The feelings that resulted were predictable: hopelessness, tiredness, fear.
Thoughts we Dwell on Become Prayers
Somewhere I read that worry is a form of prayer. Those negative thoughts and feelings use the same energy as prayers said with faith. Doesn’t the Bible report that what Job feared came upon him? Did his dwelling on fearful thoughts create the disaster of losing all his children? I can’t quite agree that we are totally responsible for all of our reality. There are events that are outside of our control. No way will I believe that my thoughts were responsible for my first husband’s unexpected death! But I do believe that our thoughts have a powerful influence on what we experience.
I Deliberately Changed my Thoughts
I decided that from that day on, whenever I endorsed a check for deposit, I would say this prayer, “Thank you God for this $___. Thank you that it is more than enough.”
About that time I read Sarah Van Breathnoch’s book, Simple Abundance. She encouraged the keeping of a daily gratitude journal. Every night, in a small notebook by my bedside, I wrote down 5 things for which I was thankful. I remember once as I looked out the kitchen window I thought, “Wow, the green shade of the lawn is so beautiful. Thank you, God for that shade of green.” I added that to my list that night. Many nights I was just thankful that I had a bed to fall into! The mysterious alchemy of Gratitude began to work its power!
Our Financial Condition Began to Change
Over the next several months, the financial situation gradually began to change. But, long before the debts were paid and the income more secure, I began to feel wealthy, secure, content, unafraid.
Feelings are the Result of our Thoughts
Our thoughts create our feelings, and we can control our thoughts. Maybe we don’t have control over the fleeting, momentary thoughts that seem to arrive without invitation, but we can control the thoughts we dwell on. Those to which we give time and attention. Whatever thoughts we choose to dwell on, become our prayers.
We Choose What we Dwell On
We switch thoughts as easily as a train is switched from one track to another. The track it’s on determines the destination of the train. It’s a conscious act, an intention, a decision to switch from worry to trust, from doom and gloom, to hope, from fear to love. It isn’t always easy, and, even after years of practice, it isn’t automatic for me. It my spiritual practice. Whenever negative, worrisome thoughts try to settle down and roost in my mind, I make the conscious choice be grateful, because gratitude has a powerful alchemy to transform things.
Gratitude Brings Peace
As a result, in spite of some challenging circumstances, I mostly live in peace. Gratitude has the power to create positive change!