We live in troubling times. The recent mass shooting in Lag Vegas has lead me to contemplate how we respond instead of react to events such as these. I believe gratitude to be a key element for responding with clarity and compassion to all of life’s challenges, personally and collectively.
I explore these questions:
How does gratitude play a role in troubling times? What is the correct response when horrific actions occur? How do we keep from going back to “trance”? How does gratitude help lead to greater awakening?
Robert Emmons: Researcher on Gratitude:
“Telling people simply to buck up, count their blessings, and remember how much they still have to be grateful for can certainly do much harm. Processing a life experience through a grateful lens does not mean denying negativity. It is not a form of superficial happiology. Instead, it means realizing the power you have to transform an obstacle into an opportunity. It means reframing a loss into a potential gain, recasting negativity into positive channels for gratitude.”
Teaching of the Buddha: May this lead to awakening.
From LDS Church History, early Mormon believers experienced difficulty in Missouri…
This revelation came in consequence of the persecution upon the Saints in Missouri. Increased settlement of Church members in Missouri troubled some other settlers, who felt threatened by the Saints’ numbers, political and economic influence, and cultural and religious differences…
“Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks;”
Gratitude is a way to approach life, it’s not just an emotion to feel or to be expressed. Gratitude in practice is to recognize and acknowledge all the blessing available to us, that we had little or nothing to do within, in any given moment, and any circumstance. Even the difficult circumstances of our lives, are designed by the universe to lead us to greater awakening. If you begin to compassionately examine your own life, you will find this to be true.
A missionary from the Book of Mormon taught to:
live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which God doth bestow upon you.
In the versus preceding this counsel, Amulek the missionary, teaches how to rely more on Christ for healing in every aspect of our lives: through prayer, through remembering and bringing awareness to what matters most, and through serving others –especially those in need.