Every year, on the fourth Thursday of November in the U.S. or the second Monday of October in Canada is their THANKSGIVING national holiday. The word “Thanksgiving” is defined as “the expression of gratitude, especially to God”, and “It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.” (Wikipedia.org/Thanksgiving) Thus, it has become a special time for me to express my gratitude to God, to the Universe, to the world of Spirit, and to everyone who has helped me, touched me and had an impact on me in my life throughout the year. On this special day, the first thing I do when I get up in the morning is to spend time to count the blessings that life has given me throughout the year and give thanks to whatever I have gone through or experienced during the year regardless whether it was an easy or difficult time.

I truly believe that I should give thanks to everything that I have experienced and everyone I have met on my life journey because they all have helped me on my soul evolutionary path. Without them, I would not be where I am and who I have become. However, I was not a grateful person before I met Margaret/Maitreya. I used to complain about my life being unfair, hard, difficult and a time of suffering; I was very insecure, and I did not trust anyone. But I did not know that I created all these issues for myself and I was the only one responsible for all my unhappiness, struggles and suffering until I began to understand my life with metaphysical knowledge. Thirteen years of learning metaphysics and in the energy of Margaret/Maitreya has enabled me to change my perceptions and perspectives about my life. It has slowly but surely transformed me from negative to positive and from complaining to appreciating. As I began to learn the purpose of life and soul journey, I have come to understand that everything I perceived as negative, bad, hard and difficult are all serving a higher purpose for my learning and growing in Spirit. I have come to realize that the instances I use to complain and hate the most are the circumstances I have chosen to deal with, and that the Universe is presenting to me the opportunities to work on my karma, past life issues and life lessons. Therefore, I cannot take anything that life has provided to me for granted or waste valuable energy lamenting my situation. I should be grateful for everyone, everything and every happening in my life. As I started to apply metaphysical knowledge to my life, I have been constantly changing and evolving. Life to me is no longer a burden but a school of learning and a playground to play the game I have set up for myself. As I started to change, I began to appreciate life and to be grateful for all that I had experienced, all I have and all I don’t have.  I have truly come to believe that everything in my life is for a reason and purpose, and that nothing happens by accident.

Life itself is a blessing. To live and to be alive is a blessing. If we count the blessings, the list will be long and endless – fresh air, water, beautiful nature, the Sun light, the Moon light, etc. – all free for us to use and to enjoy, yet, we take them and many other things for granted because they are always freely given to us and they have been in our life since the moment we were born. As a human being, we are so conditioned by our society, culture and tradition that most of us focus our attention on things that have no true and lasting value – money, wealth, fame, power, control, dominance and superiority. We have become conscious of achieving worldly matters at the expense of our heart. We hold onto the past and worry about future instead of living in the Now moment.  We worry about things we don’t have instead of enjoying and appreciating what we already have. We can so easily get lost in the illusion of the material world. We forget that life provides an opportunity for us to learn, to experience and to discern, less we forget the true purpose of our life. We get lost in the game and we do not know who we truly are or what we’ve come to learn as we get seduced by the norms and conditioning of society and meeting the expectations of those around us rather than being true to ourselves. As such, we are wrapped in the game of life and swept up in the currents of the emotional ocean of the human world.

To be happy does not need to be anything sophisticated, try simple and sincere gratitude. Yes, it is much easier to have gratitude when we have all we desire – money, home, good job, successful career, wonderful marriage, good relationship, and good health, etc.; It is much easier to give thanks when we are happy and when our life is comfortable and stable, free of challenge and struggle. It is much harder to be grateful and to have gratitude when we are going through hardship, difficulties, pain, challenge and emotional turmoil; when we are experiencing testing, trial, facing the unknown and seemly having no hope; when we are forced to move out comfort zone to make change, and when our desires and expectations are not met. However, when we are not grateful, we can easily be sucked into a dark hole and become negative, depressive, hopeless and helpless, such a mental and emotional state of being can easily drag us down to self-sabotage and self-destruction, we then will be gradually lost in the illusion of life, never able to fulfill the true destiny we have set up for ourselves. It takes courage to recognize that most of us have made our own life more difficult and complicated. Chasing life or escaping life, instead of living life, often exhausts us, makes us suffer and more miserable, and prevents us from seeing the beauty of life, thus it will inhibit us from enjoying all that life has to offer to its fullest.

Gratitude is one of the key attributes of an open heart. When our heart is open, we embrace life as it is with total acceptance, rather than expecting what it should be. Gratitude reminds us of what really matters and what is most important in our life. It provides the mindset and perspective to go beyond the illusion of whatever living situation we are dealing with and see the real reason, cause, big picture and true purpose of the people, events and incidents we are facing. Gratitude allows us to recognize the challenges and difficulties we have been going through as valuable life lessons we have chosen to experience and to learn from for our own soul growth. It helps us forgive people and events that we feel have hurt and wounded us by letting go of our anger and bitterness, and to appreciate that they are there to assist us to work through our lessons, karma, past life energy and past life issues that we have chosen to work on in this incarnation. Gratitude is also a source to enable us to cultivate strength and wisdom. As we appreciate whatever happens in our life with total acceptance, we can see through the illusion of life in its many disguises with much more clarity, it will then enable us to reach the state of “a total peace that passes all understanding.” It will not come overnight, however, as we allow ourselves to cultivate the gratitude, we will take this journey and process of soul growth more directly.

It does not take a lot for us to thank and appreciate those in our life. We just need to keep reminding ourselves that everything and everyone around us is a mirror reflecting what resides deep within ourselves. Their annoyance is teaching us patience; their anger is teaching us forgiveness and compassion; their control is teaching us to take our power back; as they invoke our fear, it is training us to let go of what we fear to lose. Their agitation is teaching us detachment. Instead of feeling hate, turn that hate into love. Thank the person for being there to help you. If the above situation happens in your life, try transforming your anger, resentment, bitterness and all other ‘negative’ emotions into gratitude. Replace your feelings of being hurt, pain, suffering, complaining, blaming, angry and hatred, with thanks, appreciation and love for the opportunities that you have been given to grow and learn. With gratitude, you become such a beautiful and great soul.