I have always thought I was a grateful person, always appreciating the little things. However, when I began my weekly gratitude challenge on the blog, I noticed how intentionally taking the time to think about and write about what I am grateful for made a huge difference in how I approached life. It hasn’t been 100% easy to be grateful for everything, even the “bad” things. That being said, I am going to share what gratitude has taught me this year.
I abandoned my gratitude challenge on the blog after just 10 weeks. Why? Well, to summarize: it felt forced and I was struggling with it. Sure, I was still thinking of gratitude, but I couldn’t write about it every week for the world to see. The majority of this year has actually been very challenging for me. If you’re into numerology, everyone said, “Oh, this year is a 1! Which means new beginnings! It’s going to be so much better!” I’m struggling with relating that in my own life, but I can definitely see how new beginnings aren’t always beautiful and everything we had hoped for.
Most of this year, I have struggled with being alone a lot. “But don’t you have a fiance, Jess?” Yes, I do, but his job has made it impossible to have a normal life together. He worked nights while I worked a normal daylight schedule for months. However, I am grateful for that time too. I discovered a lot about myself. I had to figure out how to be resilient and not let depression take over. I also made an effort to make new friends. I also realized, I need to start being grateful, even if it’s hard. His schedule has finally changed…it’s not 100% better, but it’s certainly better than it was and we are so much happier.
My goodness, it has been difficult to be grateful for the hard things this year. From the involuntary alone time, to losing my grandma. The more I discovered about the law of attraction and living a more positive life, the more I realized that we need to be grateful for even the “contrast” in our life (aka, the hard times). The contrast teaches us how to shed what no longer serves us. It teaches us to find the silver lining. As hard as it is, I am grateful that my grandma is no longer suffering. I am grateful for my alone time this year, because it taught me a lot about myself, my spirituality, and I made friends. As much as I have hated my new job, I am grateful that it has taught me what I DON’T want in a job and to follow my gut a little more closely (sorry, intuition 🙂 ).
Whenever I am faced with a difficult situation, I take a deep breath and start thinking of things I am grateful for in that situation. Also, when I am having an amazing experience, I think of being grateful for the joy and all the little things that make up that moment.
Intentional gratitude and appreciation has been a game changer for me this year. It has opened my eyes to a lot and I am so grateful that I chose to take this approach the last 10 months. This weekend I have begun writing one page of gratitude in the mornings and I intend to continue this throughout the week. I woke up feeling groggy and unaligned this morning, but after writing my page of gratitude, I am ready to take on the day.
I challenge you, start writing down what you are grateful for even when it’s difficult. When you are stressed, think of three things you are grateful for. It might take some time, but you’ll see the positive shift in your life.
I would love to hear you thoughts on gratitude! Share your thoughts below in the comments.
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