Gratitude When Life Is Tough ~ Guest Post
~ Gratitude When Life Gets Tough ~
By Claudia Merrill
When I open my eyes in the morning, usually I feel excitement in anticipation of the day ahead. I roll out of bed and stretch my arms, opening my curtains to let the sunrise in. The beauty of life feels so real to me in that moment.
Other times, I don’t want to get out of bed.
See, gratitude is effortless when our life is working well. The conditions in our life become the perfect environment for gratitude to grow in abundance.
When our lives aren’t working well, gratitude seems hard to find.
We look for it, but in the darkness of our current experience, we begin to question whether we can be grateful for any of it. The rub of it is that is when we need gratitude most of all. When we feel ourselves being pulled into a quagmire of doubt about our life, doubt about ourselves, fatigue, listlessness and annoyance, we need to be brave enough to turn within and see the beauty of our current situation.
I have had one of these experiences lately and it has taught me a lot about life, and my character as a person. I think we tend to look at life and want all of the good moments, so we can pick out and throw away all of the moments that are difficult. The irony is, when you are committed to becoming a better version of yourself, you will encounter tough moments. These tough moments are where our character is formed, so when we go on with our lives we become stronger, kinder and more compassionate beings. In a sense, the tough moments in life define our progress.
It was in the pit of one of these tough moments that I realised the necessity of gratitude. The truth is, there is only so long we can go before we need to be pulled out of the quicksand of doubt and struggle. We can stay there for a while, allowing ourselves to feel the entrapment, letting all our emotions rise to release them, but there is only so long we can remain in this pit before be disappear. To me, this is a relief because it means if we sink in, we can absolutely find a way out.
What I have found most helpful in these situations is to start small. Big actions during these tough moments of life can feel too difficult. Start with waking up each morning and feeling a warm sense of gratitude for a new day. That’s it. I personally feel more grateful when I focus on feeling gratitude rather than thinking of a list of things that make me grateful.
After a few mornings of feeling gratitude, I step it up a notch. During the middle of the day, pause and take a moment to feel grateful for everything that has happened to you this morning. If there were a lot of things that went pear shaped try to put them into perspective. Continue this for a few days before adding on gratitude in the evening before you sleep for the afternoon you’ve just experienced.
I love the affirmation, “Life is a beautiful place”. Saying these words will help you see the simple beauty of life. The stagnant, stuck feeling can make us see life as a place of darkness. Remind yourself that life really is beautiful. The more you think it, the more evidence you will see of life as a beautiful place.
In real quicksand situations, survival experts advise to stay calm and make small movements horizontally on the sand to move to safety. When we start moving out of a doubt quagmire slowly, making incremental steps toward our goal, we ultimately move out of this period of our lives stronger, calmer and with more ease. Instead of struggling with panic and despair, we move onto the next stage with grace.
The gratitude techniques above are easy to do – we are giving thanks for what makes us happy in life. The difficult part is being grateful for what we don’t like. I truly believe being grateful for all the tough parts of life are essential too. Those moments made you who you are today, and difficult moments down the line will make you even better than you already are. The tough moments of our life are the times when we grow.
When you begin to feel grateful for all the terrible parts of your life, you’ll see how they actually taught you important lessons. If you are never late, then how can you know you are punctual? If you never experience loss, how do you feel love? If you never complain, then how can you see what makes you happy in life? We chastise ourselves so much for not being perfect. We think gratitude will make us perfect. In reality, gratitude helps us see the beauty in everything. To me, that is far better than being perfect.
If you are struggling at the moment, remember the simple beauty of that. See how whatever you are struggling with is actually helping you get where you want to go. When you begin to make expressing gratitude for the totality of your life, you will see that life really is beautiful. Not because it’s perfect or happy all of the time, but because it nourishes you; and you ultimately end up on top.
♥ ♥ ♥
The lovely Claudia: Claudia is a writer, blogger and intuitive from Sydney, Australia. She writes to help others, drawing on her own experiences and knowledge. At the age of 17, she was diagnosed with anxiety and used natural healing methods to overcome this mental illness in a few years. Since then, Claudia has discovered her passion for writing through her blog, and in a novel series she is currently undertaking.
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