Gratitude, Even in the Hardest of Times? Ask Paula…

Grow your heart with gratitude

Grow your heart with gratitude

Gratitude is a feeling, and it is also a choice. In truth, it’s one of the most powerful and life-enhancing choices you can make.

As Eckhart Tolle has said, “It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.”

In my recent post titled Gratitude Changes Everything: 5 Powerful Tips to Transform Time I wrote about how thoroughly and deeply the choice to live from a place of thankfulness transforms your moments and, by extension, your life.

This is about the totality of your life and how you view the world. Your thankfulness is a specific lens through which you make meaning, and it enables to you appreciate the opportunities that you have been given.

Kathy from Phoenix sent me an e-mail soon after I published the post. It felt important to share, so her words follow, along with my response.

Gratitude is Hard for Me Right Now

Hi Paula,

I appreciate that you are talking about gratitude, and yet I am having great difficulty with that.

I have recently experienced the devastating loss of my mother. Just getting through each day feels challenging, and I can’t imagine feeling grateful now.

Do you have any suggestions?

Grief and Gratitude

Hi Kathy,

I’m so sorry for your loss. I understand how, in the midst of your darkness, there is no light.

Your work now is to grieve. Allow yourself to experience all of the conflicting swirling emotions. You may feel like the ball in a pinball machine, as it wildly ricochets from one place to the next, and back again.

For a while, this is all that you will feel. So, make sure to give yourself permission and space to feel what you need to in a safe environment.

The more compassion and nurturance you provide yourself, the more you facilitate the healing expression of your grief.

This journey may take quite some time. Only as you begin to see the smallest glimmer of light, will you be able to experience then, a glimmer of gratitude. It might come in the form of a sense of thankfulness and appreciation for having your mom in your life, and for the times you spent together.

Gradually, as you continue to grieve, the balance will shift, and you will feel gratitude more than grief.

I know this may seem impossible to you now. But trust that it will happen. And know that your gratitude will grow with the years.

My best to you,


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