In These Hard Times, How Gratitude Makes a Difference

Hard times and gratitude…

Hard times are the times when gratitude makes the biggest difference. And yet, hard times are also the times when it can be most challenging to find gratitude in your heart.

The times we have been living through may well rank among the most difficult in our lives.

And finding gratitude may have seemed impossible in some moments.

That’s why it’s so important to remember that, while gratitude is a feeling, 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.”

Transforming your hard times…

In my 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 you to appreciate the opportunities that you have been given.”

A reader named Sarah from St. Louis sent me an e-mail soon after I published the post. It felt important to share today, 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. It’s always been an important part of my life. But right now I am having great difficulty feeling it.

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

Can you help?

Grief and Gratitude

Dear Sarah,

I’m so sorry for your profound loss, and I can understand how, in the midst of your darkness right now, there seems to be no light.

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

For some time, this may be 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. It will be unique to you. Only as you begin to see the smallest glimmer of light will you be able to experience a glimmer of gratitude. It might come in the form of thankfulness for having had your mother in your life and for the times you spent together.

Gradually, as you continue to grieve, the balance will shift. You will feel gratitude as much as, and then 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,


And for more help…

Do you ever feel like change is coming at you too fast, or like it just arrives, uninvited, out of the blue?

I’ve recently been working with a client who was blind-sided by the sudden passing of a long-time co-worker. It’s turned her work life upside down and has also shaken her on a deep and personal level because this co-worker was the same age and also a good friend.

It’s brought up all kinds of big questions, on top of grief, and new work demands. The stresses and questions are piling up and she is feeling disoriented and anxious.

We’ve been working together on this for several weeks now. And today I shared a new time tool with her. I want to share it with you as well.

It’s titled How to Partner with Change and Aging. And to discover more about it right now, you can click here.

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