I have been addressing some challenging topics lately. One thing I have learned about a true and meaningful spiritual path is that it means the most when we are willing to ask ourselves some of those tough questions. It is easy to talk about spirituality in lofty words and it is relatively easy to feel that yummy, delicious spiritual energy that rises when everyone is in prayer together. But most of the day, we are doing our best to figure out what it means to live a spiritually together life in the midst of turbulent emotions, misunderstandings, bills, strained relationships, etc. The only way I have discovered to truly transcend those challenges is to face them with courage. I’m not talking about beating myself up. I’m talking about honest, compassionate truth and assuming full responsibility for my life. Then after facing myself in raw honesty, I figure I deserve a little recognition.

The person who knows best how dedicated I am to my own spiritual awakening is me. And so, I figure I’m the best person to recognize me. So I let myself know how grateful I am….to myself. Now, I don’t eat a bunch of food that isn’t good for me or engage in an activity that is ultimately harmful in order to reward myself. I don’t figure that approach is truly a reward. What I have learned to do is to feel grateful for me.

If I am an of Divine awareness, then why not be the agent of Divine love for me? The best way I have found to thank myself is to feel gratitude. The feeling really is the juice I’m looking for.

If you are receiving my weekly meditations, you will notice this week’s meditation is about breathing in and feeling gratitude for myself. A couple of minutes is all I need to feel wonderful about who I am. Many years ago, it took a lot longer than a couple of minutes, and I cried my way through every breath of gratitude I took because I didn’t feel worthy. The good thing about this exercise, is that in continuing to do it, I started feeling more and more worthy.

There are other ways to express gratitude to self. Sometimes it is helpful to write down, act out, sing about, dance or draw self-gratitude. Other times it has meaning to put something special on a personal altar reminding yourself how special you truly are. Put a picture up in your room that simply makes you feel special. Put flowers on a table in honor of you. Light a fire and sip a cup of tea, just because you are you and you deserve a little acknowledgment.

If you are really daring, you might try this. Honor yourself in a special way until you have filled up your gratitude quotient. Then go do something out in the world. Notice what you are like around others when your gratitude quotient is full.

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