"Love is the way I walk in gratitude."
Purpose: To go past your ingratitude - your envy and false gratitude - and so experience the freedom and peace that lie beyond it. This will intensify your motivation and strengthen your commitment.
Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 5 minutes - at least; 10 - better; 15 even better; 30 or more - best
Thank your Father that you are separate from no living thing and are therefore one with Him. Rejoice that there are no exceptions to this oneness, for they would reduce your wholeness. Give thanks for every living thing, and so recognize God's gifts to you.
Hourly Remembrance: as the hour strikes, for more than 1 minute (reduce if circumstances do not permit)
Use the lesson, "Love is the way I walk in gratitude," to forgive the happenings of the previous hour. Do not let it cast its shadow on the hour to come. Thus you unloose the chains of time and remain unbound while still in time.
Frequent Reminder: (Suggestion) Repeat idea.
Response To Temptation: When tempted to think of anger, malice or revenge, or to see yourself as mercilessly pushed about by the world, substitute these thoughts with the idea for the day.
Gratitude is viewed in this lesson both from a dark side and a light side. The lesson first considers how, so very often, when our thinking is aligned with our egos, our gratitude is really a kind of attack on others. Then, it goes on to consider sincere gratitude, which can only occur when joined with love (4:3).
The dark side of gratitude comes from an ego perspective. This is the "gratitude" that prays, "Thank God I am not as others; thank God I am better off." It is the kind of gratitude based firmly on comparisons. It is the thankfulness we feel when we have a bigger house than others, a better car, a more attractive spouse. It is a kind of thankfulness that depends on others who have less, who suffer more than we do. It comes from a view that sees our brother as the rival for our peace (3:1), and rejoices when he is in distress. This kind of "gratitude" is really nothing more than a form of vengeance. And if we examine ourselves honestly we will find ourselves indulging in this kind of false gratitude far more often than we realize.
True gratitude is something far different. "We thank our Father for one thing alone; that we are separate from no living thing, and therefore one with Him" (6:1). "We offer thanks to God our Father that in us all things will find their freedom. It will never be that some are loosed while others still are bound" (4:4-5). This gratitude gives "thanks for every living thing, for otherwise we offer thanks for nothing" (6:3).
Today I am joyful that the gifts I have received belong to everyone. I am grateful for every living thing, every person I meet. I rejoice that everyone goes with me, that no one is excluded. I am grateful that each of you who read this is a part of me, that none of you can ever lose your inheritance and so diminish me. I recognize that if anyone is diminished, I am diminished, and I thank God that "everything has earned the right to love by being loving" for all is part of my Self (8:6).
Today, if I feel badgered by the world, or pushed about without any thought or care for me, I will choose to replace such foolish thoughts with gratitude (9:1-4). "God has cared for us, and calls us Son. Can there be more than this?" (9:5)
Another word for gratitude is "appreciation." I offer you these thoughts about appreciation from the Course:
"Only one equal gift can be offered to the equal Sons of God, and that is full appreciation." (T-6.V(A).4:7)
"Only honor is a fitting gift for those whom God Himself created worthy of honor, and whom He honors. Give them the appreciation God accords them always, because they are His beloved Sons in whom He is well pleased." (T-7.VII.6:1,2)
"There are no idolaters in the Kingdom, but there is great appreciation for everything that God created, because of the calm knowledge that each one is part of Him." (T-10.III.6:1)
"God knows His Son as wholly blameless as Himself, and He is approached through the appreciation of His Son." (T-11.IV.7:2)
"Only appreciation is an appropriate response to your brother. Gratitude is due him for both his loving thoughts and his appeals for help, for both are capable of bringing love into your awareness if you perceive them truly." (T-12.I.6:1,2)
"In the holy instant we share our faith in God's Son because we recognize, together, that he is wholly worthy of it, and in our appreciation of his worth we cannot doubt his holiness. And so we love him." (T-15.VI.2:5,6)
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