Saturday, November 15, 2008

November 10th - Level 2 Gratitude

Let’s proceed to Level 2 Gratitude. I think of this as “holistic gratitude” because it’s independent of situations and circumstances. This is a feeling of gratitude for life itself, for existence, for anything and everything you experience. But rather than being a temporary emotion that requires constant focus, Level 2 Gratitude is more of an underlying attitude. With practice it becomes part of your identity. ( I like that idea...)

Level 2 Gratitude encompasses everything in Level 1, but Level 2 goes beyond that to include being grateful for:

  • your life
  • the universe
  • time and space
  • your problems, challenges, and hardships
  • your foibles and mistakes
  • your consciousness
  • your ego
  • people who treat you unkindly or unfairly
  • your thoughts and emotions
  • your freedom of choice
  • ideas and concepts

Level 2 Gratitude says, “How wonderful it is to exist!” Circumstances are irrelevant because this form of gratitude is a choice that needs no justification. It is a sense of utter fascination with the very notion of existence.

You become grateful for the adventure that is life, including all of its twists and turns. This form of gratitude is synonymous with unconditional love because there is no attachment to circumstances or outcomes. Consequently, there is no fear of loss or change.

Level 2 Gratitude is like having a constant echo in the back of your consciousness saying, “Wow!” Everything else is experienced on top of that Wow. Gratitude becomes the canvas upon which your life is painted.

When you feel grateful for existence itself, you move from doing grateful to being grateful.

When your feelings of gratitude are conditional upon temporary circumstances like your stuff, your job, and your relationships, your base identity doesn’t change. But when you root your gratitude in something permanent, it becomes a permanent part of you. Instead of saying, “I am grateful for…” you just say, “I am grateful.”