Is gratitude a spiritual attribute?
|Is gratitude a spiritual attribute? For me the answer is yes, but I don't know how to prove this to anyone except myself. I've proven this through the use of a daily gratitude list. Each day I attempt to list ten things that I am grateful to have. Some of the things on this list repeat themselves each day while others are new. I begin the list first thing in the morning after I say my morning prayer. Sometimes I write the list down immediately and sometimes I make the list mentally while I'm preparing for my day.
Being thankful is something I learned as a child, but I'm not sure who taught me. I remember Grandpa Frank saying a blessing at the table whenever the entire family sit down to eat. I remember hearing prayers in church on Sunday morning. Grandpa took us to the First Southern Baptist Mission in the Smelter Heights in Blackwell, Oklahoma. When Mama took us to church we attended the First Southern Baptist Church in downtown Blackwell. We never missed a Sunday going to church where I always heard someone say a prayer thanking God for something.
Outside of church and at meal time, I never heard anyone say a prayer of gratitude. I heard people say please and thank you all the time, but they never said it in a prayer outside of church or mealtime. I also never heard of anyone making a gratitude list until after I turned forty-five or fifty. I am not sure precisely when I heard about gratitude list. It was the gratitude list that taught me the true meaning of being thankful. It was the gratitude list that helped me deal with depression.
At first I composed my gratitude list only on Thursday. I called this Thankful Thursday because it was when I considered the things I should put on the list. Sometimes I had difficulty thinking of ten things to give thanks for. Other times I found that I had more than ten items on my list. I think it was in 2012 or 2013 that I began making a daily gratitude list. I did this because of an article I read about a thirty day gratitude list. After the thirty days, I extended the exercise to a year. I discovered that I was less depressed and happier than when I limited the gratitude to one day a week.
My gratitude lists help me to feel more tranquil and calmer both of which enhances the spiritual feeling I get when saying prayers or meditating. To me this is proof that gratitude is a spiritual attribute which flows from the soul to the mind. This spiritual feeling helps me to deal with the disappointments and stress that tend to send me into a depression.