Give thanks for the power of gratitude

One of the remarkable things about gratitude is how easy it is to feel it when things are at their hardest, and how truly transformative it can be.

On the surface, it would seem that it’s easy to be thankful for all that one has when one has a lot — a good job, a nice home, plenty to eat, and a happy, healthy family.

In truth, however, when we have these things, it’s easy to enjoy them, but much harder to remember to stop and take a minute to express and feel true gratitude for them. It’s easy to take abundance for granted.

So many are struggling

On the other hand, for many — probably for most — times of great abundance and ease are rare. So many are struggling every day with hardships that often seem impossible to bear: financial worries, health issues, broken hearts, broken homes, lives broken by violence or cruelty or indifference.

And yet, those who struggle most are often the ones who are most grateful for what they do have. Every time someone says, “I can’t do this anymore” and then they do, that realization is often followed by sincere thanks for the strength or the will or the faith or the sheer determination or the help that made it possible to go on when it seemed impossible to do so.

Rediscover gifts within and around us

We live in a world that is inherently unfair; bad things happen to good people and vice versa. It’s a challenge to look beyond the injustice of the battles we are called to fight and to be thankful for them, to embrace them for what they really are: A chance to discover the gifts within us and around us that help us make our lives and the lives of others better.

With gratitude, especially gratitude offered up in a time of hardship and painful struggle, comes peace. With peace comes the strength to move forward; with peace comes an ability to cast our inner light outward instead of becoming stuck in a darkness within.

Give thanks for the transformative power of gratitude.