I appreciate positive and optimistic encouragement. I understand why people are looking for silver linings during this hard year and seeing all the good things to come out of it. I know people are truly trying to help when they say things like “Look on the bright side” and “The world really needed this” and “What an opportunity to slow down and appreciate the little things”.
I just can’t quite get past the hurt and pain people around the world are going through to really get to that place. I hear the confusion in my mother-in-law’s voice over the phone while she forgets over and over why we can’t visit. I have to answer hard questions from my disappointed kids every day. I have friends every day being forced to close the businesses they’ve fought for. I know people who have lost loved ones to this terrible disease.
So while I can’t quite be thankful for everything right now, I DO believe gratitude has the power to change us and how we walk through hard times.
For every painful thought I have and every sad news article I see and every fear I experience, I try to counter it with a specific thought of gratitude in my own life.
I’m thankful right this very moment for sitting in front of a warm fire with my coffee. I’m thankful I have a job. I’m thankful my family is healthy. I’m thankful that it will be 70 degrees this week and not 12 degrees. I’m thankful I have a car that runs. I’m thankful my body moves, even if it’s not always how it used to.
When I can list even one thing I’m grateful for, it allows me to see more of these things. It opens my eyes to more beauty around me.
I’ve found this is essential for me and my ability to function at my best in this topsy turvy, unknown world.
You can be grateful and still feel pain for those around you. You can be thankful and still sit with those suffering.
They are not exclusive of each other.
So let yourself find some gratitude this month and see what other beauty presents itself to you.