By John Ashbrook
There is a direct connection between personal prosperity and the spiritual principle of gratitude. Just as prosperity is much more than money and material possessions, gratitude is so much more than remembering to give thanks. In order to really observe and understand the incredible relationship between these two critical aspects of a fulfilling life, it is necessary to define and explore them separately. In doing so, the awesome connection between the two will be revealed. Prosperity in its highest and most gratifying state is total, unencumbered freedom. It is the ongoing, free-flowing dynamic of infinite, diverse experience and expression.
It is perpetual personal growth. This divine level of prosperity is made up of a balanced, harmonious blend of financial security, personal time, health, and spiritual development.
Spiritual development is the critical element here because freedom is always limited by the presence of paralyzing fear. Spiritual development reduces fear. The greater the level of spiritual development, the greater level of the other components mentioned above and, therefore, the greater the level of real prosperity. The achievement of financial independence is the result of a deserving attitude that can only come from the high self-esteem that is created when an individual lives responsibly. Responsible living means loving one’s self, a gentle, patient disciplined, commitment to your own goals, taking action on your own behalf, and knowing when to let go and surrender to the natural, benevolent process of the universe. This self-loving state manifests harmony within the soul, and where there is harmony within, there must be harmony externally.
This results in physical health and the natural management of time. You suddenly have enough time not only to create wealth but to enjoy it and put it to work for your ongoing experience, expression, and spiritual expansion.
This level of prosperity is always abundant, but never greedy because you begin to live in the eternal moment where you are always satisfied, never wanting for more, never in a hurry for more, but also knowing that there will always be more. You are in the flow, in complete harmony with the force of life, and as such, you totally deserve to partake of the endless bounty that is the universe. These possibilities exist for every living soul, anyone who is willing to accept and take full responsibility for their own life.
As stated earlier, gratitude is not something one remembers to do; it is not something one trots out in times of adversity, fear of the future, or guilt over taking someone or something for granted. Genuine gratitude is a state of being, a way of living, and a spiritual behavior. Gratitude is automatic and ever-present in individuals who truly love themselves.
It is born of inner harmony. When an individual takes full responsibility for creating their own life and develops their soul, they begin to experience a knowing state of unity with all that is. In this unified dynamic, they cannot help but live in a condition of deep reverence for every living being. This harmony, awesome respect, total awareness, and keen sensitivity towards life is gratitude. It is a behavior of inner trust that recognizes the unspeakable perfection of a just and totally benevolent universe. When an individual reaches this divine understanding and unity with life, they cannot possibly take it for granted. Their exalted level of awareness will not allow it, so they live in gratitude without ever having to say so; their spiritual behavior speaks for them. The universe is aware of their harmonic behavior, and a state of mutual gratitude is manifested. You respect life, and life respects you.
An individual who lives in a state of spiritual gratitude always, at least in some small way, recognizes the unique individuality of anyone they come into contact with. This is so even if that person is someone who can do nothing for them. An individual who lives in gratitude is so aware that they can never be so self-absorbed as to be oblivious to the feelings of another human being. They are always sensitive, courteous, and respectful, no matter how elite their position may be. You can see that a person who strives to live this way must feel deserving, and the universe cannot help but recognize this positive attitude. It is here that we can see the undeniable connection between prosperity and gratitude. In so many ways, they are the same, so it is not possible to have one without the other; both can only be produced by a spiritually developed, healthy inner reality.
If you truly love yourself, you will live in a state of gratitude, and you will manifest divine prosperity because you cannot truly love yourself and remain separate and disconnected from all that is.
It is unity that makes all things possible, because in the total harmony of unity, universal awareness is achieved. Universal awareness guarantees the complete freedom to pursue and experience the infinite wonders of this divine universe forever.