Have you ever had the feeling that it is impossible to be grateful in the circumstances you are in right now?
When a friend has dumped you?
When you have lost a dearly beloved spouse?
Or when you have witnessed the hopelessness of a child?
I could easily go on and on, and you could probably as well.
But somehow research has shown that Gratitude actually does us good. It gives us resilience and makes us better people. True, in-depth success also never comes without gratitude.
So how to be grateful in less then perfect circumstances?
Is this live really a journey? Rather than count the things we are grateful for, maybe a more deeper way of gratitude is to be thankful for the experience of this life. Wherever it may lead us. Because in the end, it is the experience that makes our lives rich and meaningful.
When it comes to the journey of life, the experience of the birth and death of my son Daniel comes to my mind. He was born with Trisomy 18 and lived for four days. It could easily have been the most miserable period of my life. Instead I remember the sweetness of holding that perfect,beautiful son and the strength I felt from him. I am not saying that it was all easy. Of course there were very difficult episodes. One of those episode was telling our other three children that their baby brother would not live long. I still remember the deep sadness of our oldest son. However, in the midst of all of it, there was the soft, sweet assurance that this son would be known to me eternally. That this experience was something to be grateful for.
So maybe gratitude is really a way of being – and of knowing. Knowing that in the end our attitude matters, not our circumstances. For this life is really a small episode in the grant scheme of things. What we take with us is our attitude, our experiences, our memories and our love. So perhaps it is time to look at life with gratitude, and perhaps then this gratitude will be mirrored back into our lives!
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