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Home / Articles / Columnists / Healthy Living /  Gratitude
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Monday, October 5,2020

Gratitude

By Karen Ellis-Ritter  
One thing that I’ve come to realize more than ever before: we are only as resilient as our level of gratitude. I will absolutely admit that it is not easy to find gratitude when you are in the midst of turmoil and hardship. It is also hard to avoid falling prey to despair from the collective hardships happening around the globe. I will be the last person to tell someone to “smile” when they are hurting. It is toxic behavior to silence another person’s trauma by comparing it to worse situations, or tell people things like “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” … or “Look on the bright side.” Sometimes just being there to listen is what a person needs most. They are not always looking for advice, but rather, a safe space to share their human experience in this moment.

With that said, in our own space and time, when we can come back from those desperate feelings long enough to focus on the blessings in our lives, something miraculous occurs. Our reality shifts, our mood lifts and our outlook becomes hopeful. No one can bring us to this space. Like embarking on any inward journey, it needs to be born of a desire for something else. We need to be fed up with feeling like crap. We need to be ready to move out of a cycle that is shrinking our reality and holding us small. If we already have some negative momentum, there is a cumulative snowball effect, and it might take some added effort to move the ball in a positive direction. Practicing gratitude through written word, recording your voice, or through meditation, will attract more abundance into your life, even if you can only spare five minutes. We are inviting what we focus on into our lives. If we focus on lack, we are inviting more of the same.

I like to start with my body. I think of every body part and the miracles they bring into my life. From sight, vision, hearing, intellect, organs, muscles, tissues, skin, and bone … blood, nerves, arteries, and veins … down to the individual cells and molecules … heartbeat, breath and sentience. We are all physical miracles – and we are so abundantly blessed! When we can connect to all of these gifts, we can start to acknowledge the people in our lives that bring us joy – be they human, feathered, furry or scaly. If we are blessed with a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, freedom to move about unobstructed … those are miracles! When I have taken the time to deep dive on the myriad of blessings that go largely unnoticed, I am truly amazed at the level of abundance around me and in my life. As we all have different levels of privilege, freedom and means, I know this looks different to every person. But we are all blessed, and we all deserve to access our joy through gratitude!

 

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