People begin gratitude practice for a variety of reasons. Often times they realize they are tired of the constant battle with themselves to maintain a life of contentment and happiness. Although there are times when people may wonder if there should be a time and place for gratitude.
In the face of struggle, hardship and other challenges, it may be difficult to imagine practicing gratitude and even if one were to start, it could be seen as another form of escapism or retreat in to a fantasy world of rainbows and butterflies when “real life turmoil” is happening.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. — Buddha
One thing we do know that doesn’t work is operating from a place of hate and anger. It can feel frustrating fighting what seems like an uphill battle but lashing out is unproductive. Like every master athlete, we have to be able to clearly define our goals and check that every action we take in life supports reaching this target. Shifting your thoughts from frustration, anger and reactivity is crucial to attaining prosperity, peace and self-healing.
Here are some reasons we should be grateful in difficult times:
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
― Mahatma Gandhi
Being grateful helps you live life authentically. If you are adding fuel to the flames, yet your end goal is to have peace, then you are not aligned with your principles. Being kind, compassionate and grateful to everyone does not mean you’ve surrendered your beliefs to the opposition, rather you choose yourself and your health over the combative disorder around you. Peaceful demonstration minus the belittlement is how Gandhi handled it.
It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal. ― Steve Maraboli
Being grateful creates clarity. When you take the time to see the positive, are thankful for the present moment and the possibilities for growth, your mind comes into razor sharp focus and this lucidity naturally guides you in productive next steps.
People help you or you help them and when we offer or receive help, we take in each other. And then we are saved. ― Anne Lamott
Being grateful helps support your cause. Any time a person is supported in their beliefs or feels acknowledged in their struggle, it expands the gratitude they feel. Find a group that expresses your same views and express yourself with grace, non-violence and determination. State the facts without wishing ill-will towards others.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. ― Eleanor Roosevelt
Being grateful helps us learn from our challenges. Be thankful for the obstacles and secure in your beliefs. When facing adversity remember we cannot control others, only ourselves. Think about the benefits and what you can learn from the situation, the people and yourself. Be genuinely thankful for the trials and tribulations. Nothing lasts forever and peaceful movements towards a common goal will eventually win out as will the overall good of humankind. If you find it too enraging to read or listen to the news, it’s time to unplug and seek tranquility with activities like mindfulness meditation or walks in nature.
It’s important that we understand we cannot have expectations that the world have the same opinions as us. This is what makes all human beings so unique. We should only expect everyone rise above hate, the injustices, anger and fear and fight for what we believe, in a fair and peaceful manner. Life will always be uncertain, but being grateful can offer a sense of certainty. Choose gratitude, love and compassion in disorder as it is the pathway to a happy and peaceful life.
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