Back in 2011, when I started the habit of writing down 3 things that I was grateful for at the end of the day I didn’t think I’d stick to it. Knowing myself all too well, I though for sure that one day I’d call it all bullshit and toss the journal deep inside a drawer. And sure enough, there came many nights when I was tired, angry, bitter, depressed – you name it – and feeling grateful was the last thing on my mind.
But I underestimated how determined, and suborn, I could be. And so on the good days, and bad, I’d
make myself write three, however smallest, things that didn’t suck that day.
What I soon realized was that it was on those difficult days that expressing gratitude, if only in writing, was the most critical, and transforming. It was on those hardest days when it truly made the difference.
“Just an observation: it is impossible to be both grateful and depressed. Those with a grateful mindset tend to see the message in the mess. And even though life may knock them down, the grateful find reasons, if even small ones, to get up.” ~Steve Maraboli
Gratitude gave me the much needed perspective, and with it, patience and inner strength. It helped me restore balance to my negatively skewed outlook and look at the experience from a whole new angle. Through the power of gratitude, I started seeing not only the ugly (failures, obstacles, trials, pain, disappointments) but the beautiful as well. I’d search for the silver lining and find it with more and more ease.
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Gratitude is not about creating unrealistic, or beautified, versions of reality. It’s about looking at the whole situation, having a perspective, and seeing things we couldn’t notice before. It’s about living in the now and being open-minded about our experiences. It’s about being fully present and appreciating the whole story. And it works, at least for me.