I have found that in order to expand my sense of self out to a sense of “Self” – meaning beyond my own personal drama in this material world to an understanding of myself as part of the universal wholeness – it is helpful to be grateful for things that have absolutely nothing to do with “me”. Grateful. Not just happy. When people tell you about some fortunate new development in their life, don’t tell them “I’m happy for you.” Instead tell them “I’m so grateful that you have a new job”, “I’m grateful you’ve found the woman of your dreams.”
It may feel awkward at first but it can have a big impact. Words are the result of thoughts, and in turn, action is the result of words.
This simple practice can teach you that your own needs or your own personal preferences are just a spark of all encompassing reality. What’s more, in simply expressing gratitude for other people’s sparks of reality being realized, we don’t neglect our own happiness, nor do we really, when it comes down to it, put anyone else’s happiness above ours. We come to recognize that in both cases these passing joys are just a shadow of the real thing. In showing gratitude for a happiness experienced by another, you recognize the shadow for what it is, yet harken the presence of the Lord. That is my opinion.