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Sticky: Gratitude – by don Miguel Ruiz

Gratitude must begin with the one who created us because we receive the greatest gift from our Creator: life. How can we sincerely show our gratitude to God and say thank you from the bottom of our hearts? The best way to show our gratitude is to receive the gift, and give our thanks by enjoying the gift, by living our lives fully and completely.

don Miguel Ruiz
For many of us, it is easy to give, but very difficult to receive. When we master gratitude, we can easily receive without feeling guilty because we know that by receiving, we give pleasure to the one who is giving. For example, if someone cooks a meal for you, the best way to say thank you for the gift is to really enjoy the food. The one who cooks for you feels pleasure just seeing how much you enjoy it. If you cook a meal for your own children, and you see how much they enjoy your food, you can keep cooking the rest of your life just to feel their pleasure!

The same thing is true with life. Our Creator gives us the gift of life, and the way to say, “Thank you, God, for life,” is by enjoying our lives, by living our lives intensely, by being who we really are. Life is passing so quickly. Even if we live one hundred years, life is too short. What will we do with our lives? Should we spend our lives feeling sorry for ourselves? Should we spend our lives creating conflict with the people we love by judging them, trying to control them, or telling them how we want them to be? Should we spend our lives being afraid to be alive, afraid to express what we are in the world?

The way to express our gratitude for life is by being truly alive, not hiding from life in a corner, or watching life pass us by. The biggest fear we have is not the fear of dying, but the fear to be alive, to be ourselves, to say what we feel, to ask for what we want, to say yes when we want to say yes, and no when we want to say no. To express what is in our hearts is to be truly alive. If we pretend to be what we are not, how can we be truly alive?

To live with gratitude is to enjoy every moment of this precious gift that comes from God. We don’t have to say, “Thank you, God,” for life; we can show our gratitude to God by living in happiness and love. Gratitude is one of the greatest expressions of love. When we master gratitude, we give our love generously because we know there is no end to our love. Whatever we give, we give with generosity because our Creator is so generous with us. And we know that we are worthy of receiving all that is good in life because we come from God, and God is all there is. If God is everywhere and exists within all things, then how can God withhold life’s gifts from God’s own creations?

Today is a wonderful day to be grateful, to express all the gratitude that is in your heart. Why not practice gratitude in every moment until you master gratitude, until it becomes a habit? The more you practice gratitude, the more you see how much there is to be grateful for, and your life becomes an ongoing celebration of joy and happiness. When you master gratitude, you perceive God in everything, and your reaction is love and gratitude for the greatest gift, which is life.

Excerpted from don Miguel Ruiz’s book, Prayers: A Communion with our Creator

Don Miguel Ruiz was born into a family of healers, and raised in rural Mexico by a curandera (healer) mother and a nagual (shaman) grandfather. The family anticipated that Miguel would embrace their centuries-old legacy of healing and teaching, and carry forward the esoteric Toltec knowledge. Instead, distracted by modern life, Miguel chose to attend medical school and become a surgeon.


A near-death experience changed his life. He devoted himself to the mastery of the ancient ancestral wisdom. For more than a decade, he has worked to impart this wisdom to his students through lectures, workshops, and journeys to sacred sites around the world.

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