My journey to living in gratitude began in 2010. And let me say that up until that time, until I was age forty-five, I was a complainer, griper, and a whiner, with absolutely no reason to complain!
Luckily, I was saved from these very wasteful, counter-productive habits when I was given a blank journal one Thanksgiving season by a New Thought minister, who told us if we journaled five things we were grateful for forty days, our life would change exponentially for the better.
I dutifully wrote my gratitude lists, and oh my god, my life did change. It worked! I let go of complaining and started focusing on all the good in my life, and there is plenty.
1. I have written five or ten things to be grateful for almost every day for years and years. Each morning and each evening, I also reflect on what I am thankful for.
2. I have realized (and I am thankful) that it is now my calling and passion to share the power of gratitude to inspire others.
3, Because of my passion to share gratitude, I have written and published five books on gratitude!
Nowadays, I keep my gratitude practice alive and well by sending out daily email gratitude reflections to a group, and I also write letters to the Universe several times a week about what I am thankful for now, and in advance. I find that each year, my gratitude practice expands. Nowadays, I often write paragraphs rather than a short list about what I am grateful for.
Did you know that scientific studies prove that being grateful helps to be more peaceful, more joyful, and healthier? It is said that you cannot be simultaneously mad or depressed while being grateful, and I’ve found this to be true.
It is my belief that we can almost always find a reason to be grateful, even when confronted with tragedies, unexpected disasters, or even ill health—a practice known as “radical gratitude.” And this holds true for challenging people in our lives as well. Here are two disclaimers:
- Forgiveness and acceptance can often be key to finding the gratitude in a situation, but these two concepts will not be discussed in this article. The article would be too long!
- One more disclaimer: I realize there are some tragedies where a person cannot ever feel gratitude, such as losing a loved one or being sexually abused. It may not work for everybody and every situation.
But more often than not, we can find the gratitude in negative situations in our life.
My Personal Experience of Finding Gratitude in Tough Times