How to be grateful when life sucks...

In these crazy times in which we live, we have somehow come to believe that life should be easy and that we deserve for things to go our way. And if they’re not there is something wrong with us and we just to believe more fully in The Secret, or pray for longer, or win the Lotto, all our trials will just disappear.

No other generation has believed this dangerous theory of the world.

Life was never meant to be easy, and no one with any wisdom has ever told us it should be. Our experience on earth is about the light AND the darkness, the joy AND the sorrow, the pain AND the ecstasy. We are deluding ourselves if we believe that our lives can be anything but a balance of the good and the bad.

And if this is true and all our experiences are a valid part of our human journey, can we stop vilifying our pain and accept it as a necessary part of our human life.

Can we stop running away from it? Can we stop distracting ourselves when we feel anxious? Can we accept our tough emotions as a necessary part of being human? Can we learn to embrace them as a valuable and lesson rich part of life?

Imagine if we could even start sharing our pain and the lessons we have learned from it, and the strength and courage it has given us. Imagine if it wasn't shameful to admit our pain, that we could trust each other with our precious and raw truth instead of pretending that all is well, when inside we are suffering.

And when we are in pain, can we, (even in the midst of our trials) find a little spark of light in our lives that we can be grateful for. And then can we let this spark grow until we can rest in gratitude and let this feeling lead us to all the other places in our lives that want to reveal their blessings.

Can our trials become our strengthening moments that teach us about our own humility and our connection to every other human being?

I know it is a very challenging thing to do. It’s easy to be grateful when life is going our way, but when things turn to crap it's a lot harder to be thankful.

I can remember in the depth of my grief after losing my Mum, gratitude was often the last thing on my mind.

I dragged myself along the beach and sat on my rock as often as I could, waiting for relief that sometimes never came. Weeks turned into months and at some point along the way I started to understand that even in the midst of all my sorrow and pain there was still a little bit of room for gratitude.

At first finding something to be grateful was tough. I scrolled through all the aspects of my life and at that time there didn’t seem to be many bright patches, but the more I looked, the more I could identify a little spark of light.

Once I found my little spark I gave thanks for it. And once I gave thanks it was as if that little bit of gratitude helped me to see another blessing and then another one. And that was the beginning of my slow journey back to the land of the living.

I think that our sadness and our pain and our sorrow can isolate us and maroon us on an island of sadness, where we believe we are the only person in the world going through such a hard time.

But this is completely untrue.

Every one of us has our share of pain and sorrow. Every one of us will go through hard times in our lives. If we trust in this we can navigate these times with more peace of mind, knowing that this very pain is what unites us together in our human family.







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