Gratitude doesn’t mean pretending things aren’t hard

November 20th, 2013 by admin in Emotions, Gratitude
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I’m grateful for my health.

I’m grateful for the sunshine.

I’m grateful that today isn’t quite as hard as yesterday was.

I’m grateful for hope and faith and trust and inner knowing.

November is often a month of gratitude.  You may see your facebook or twitter feed full of things your friends appreciate.  If you are familiar with my facebook page, you know that I also participate.  I love it!  It brings me joy to see the things for which others are thankful.  It also helps focus me; it helps me shine a light on the positive even when things are hard.

Gratitude helps us acknowledge what is working or feels wonderful.  Giving thanks helps us focus on the good.  It doesn’t take away the bad…it just turns down the volume.  Being grateful doesn’t mean you have to ignore the hard or lie about the bad or pretend things are easy.  You can be grateful about something and still be struggling.  You can be thankful and still wish things were different.  Both can be true.  All of it can be true.

You can also be heartbroken, grieving, disappointed and still find something for which you are grateful.  The gratitude doesn’t replace the pain.  It adds gratitude to your perspective.  It may lesson some of the heartbreak and it may not.

Gratitude isn’t being oblivious or Pollyanna or pretending.  It’s not putting a rosy or sunny spin on things.  Gratitude is something that comes from deep within.  It is a form of thanksgiving and if you are “pretending” then you really aren’t practicing it.

I think sometimes gratitude is discredited because people think it’s “blowing smoke” or not truthful. I think some people see other’s gratitude and feel like they aren’t being realistic or they are painting a picture that is “too good.”  I think some people are uncomfortable with the idea of gratitude because they worry it means they have to let go of all other feelings (anger, guilt, sadness, etc).

You can feel what you feel and be grateful.  You can hold space for the gratitude AND the hard.  Both are true and truth is compelling.


Today I’m grateful for a “pause” in my busy day, where I can sit and drink my latte and write this blog post.  I’ve also been up the last 3 nights with a sick baby and I’m exhausted.  My heart is heavy because my babe is struggling.  And I’m struggling.  I’m also grateful for support from friends and family, kind words and a gift package left on my porch.

All of it’s true.  It’s not all good.  It’s not all bad.  It’s wonderful and it’s hard.  It’s true.  It’s life.  And I am grateful.

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