Are you feeling the struggle right now? I’m with you. Here’s how to find gratitude and joy – even through adversity and pain.
I’m no stranger to hardship.
Having lived through adversity and tragedy from a very young age, I used to think that these struggles defined me. It’s really easy to get caught up in the hurt and start to feel like that one painful moment is your whole life. Trauma can be so consuming.
It wasn’t until I took a step back and looked at the timeline of my life that I realized these were just moments – and not the totality of my life. In fact, everything that once felt like a setback was uniquely preparing me to handle the things that lie ahead.
My Gratitude Learning Lessons
After the loss of my son, I realized we’re here for such a short time, and nothing is guaranteed. It taught me to be fiercely present with people. I learned that the time we get to spend with people is a gift from the very first minute – from the first breath. And that’s how I live now.
Through struggles with relationships, I learned to be a trusting person, while also verifying that people were worthy of my trust. It’s given me a sense of balance in my relationships, and it’s taught me to trust my instincts.
I’ve lost businesses and experienced professional setbacks, but each challenge taught me to be a better steward of my money and a stronger, more compassionate manager.
Through each painful moment, I grew into a better version of myself, someone stronger and more capable of taking on the next challenging moment that lies ahead. For me, the shift was all about finding gratitude in adversity, looking for the gift in the challenge.
What has this moment taught you, and how are you better because of it?
It’s a process easier said than done. But it’s also a process you don’t have to go through alone.
How To Find Gratitude In Adversity
Even the worst pain, heartbreak and hardship passes, and when you need a reminder, say aloud: This too shall pass.
But how it passes is up to you. And if you want to live through adversity to come out stronger on the other side, well my answer for you, my friends, is simply gratitude.
You CAN learn to feel gratitude in the little things and in the hard moments. You woke up today, and you’re still breathing. You can still smile. You can still soak in the sunshine.
It may take some creativity, but start looking for the joy.
Find a new, fun way to cook ramen for the 17th time this month. Plan a free outing to the park. Rearrange your living room without spending a penny. Get excited about a new passion project. Go on a walk and count 10 things that are beautiful along the way.
If you can find tiny crumbs of gratitude and hold onto them, it turns chaos and uncertainty into inner peace, even if only for a moment. And in tough times, even a moment of peace can help you access the inner resources you didn’t even know you had.
Still Struggling? Read This.
This year has given us all a moment of pause. Some people might feel bitter or fearful or blessed. But no matter how you feel, remember that we’re all living in the same conditions, going through similar circumstances.
You are NOT alone.
So instead of trying to handle it on your own, look to others who are pushing through this crisis at the same time. Search for examples from others who are finding the gratitude, or the joy, in the moment.
Remember those videos of people in lockdown who chose to sing from their balconies to find the joy? Well, eventually others started joining in. With nothing but a heart full of gratitude and a song, they created a movement where people found thanks in simply having a voice – a voice that could connect to another human.
And that harmony was contagious.
The whole world watched those videos, and all it took was one person remembering: I have this song in my heart and this voice to share.
How we move forward through hardship defines us.
Are you moving forward with gratitude, or are you focusing on the lack and the struggle?
A willing spirit and a creative mind will find gratitude. An unwilling spirit and a negative mind will find despair. The choice is yours.
As we approach another season of lockdowns, I hope you choose gratitude – because you are worthy of peace even in struggle.