Much has been written and spoken about the importance of gratitude. It is a key ingredient in a happy life. Oprah made gratitude journals a ‘thing.’ Sages and Gurus tout the necessity of an attitude of gratitude.
It may be easy, or not, to look around at our abundance and be thankful for the air, food, water, comforts, etc., in our lives. But, (don’t you just love buts?) interestingly, the best clues to things to be grateful for reside inside our difficult circumstances. Let me explain with an example:
19 year old Jackie believed Stuart was the love her life and was devastated when he broke up with her. 15 years later, when she bumps into him she finds that he never left their small town, still plays video games, drinks beer every night and has no aspirations beyond that. Jackie has travelled, furthered her education and lives in a vibrant city doing the work she loves, partnered with someone who fascinates her. Jackie is thankful for all of the experiences that she has enjoyed that have made her who she is today. Jackie is thankful Stuart broke up with her.
What I propose – The Gratitude Challenge - is to look over the difficulties in your life and see how you can be thankful for them. Mine your experiences, past and present to see how the ‘bad’ thing is now a ‘good’ thing and note your thankfulness; either say it out loud and or write it down. I am grateful for _____________. In celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving, do this as many days in October as you can.
Important Side Note: If you re-visit or are currently experiencing something painful and/or difficult and you can’t find the reason it’s a good thing, that’s ok. An important part of getting to gratitude is processing the anger or hurt part. Maybe now is the time to get some help with addressing the hurt. If you can’t move to thankfulness, give it time and be kind to yourself. I'm available to chat; firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Thanks finding and giving!