THE BLOG
12/10/2014 12:59 pm ET Updated Feb 09, 2015

Gratitude When You're In the Dumps

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Gratitude. We hear this word a lot this time of year. People talk about how we should be thankful for the people and things that we have in our life. How we are so much more fortunate than so many other people....

Unfortunately not everyone feels the same gladness in their hearts when the holiday season approaches. Rather, it enhances the depths of their unhappiness as it strikes them smack dab in the face. Hard.

In the past I've been asked, "What should you do when you think your life sucks and there is nothing to be grateful for?"

What then? What do you focus on when everywhere you look there is only heartache and sorrow? When it seems that all of your joy and happiness has left you long ago and you are alone with an empty life with holes. When you feel a sense of heaviness that you carry around with wherever you go. When your life is not what you wanted it to be or thought it could/should be. When you yourself are not how you want to be or thought you could/should be. "Bluck" your inner self scoffs when someone tells you how happy and grateful you should be.

So the question remains: How do you feel gratitude when everything seems wrong and the house you built for yourself is crumbling around you?

What I've learned is that when everything feels like it's not as you would like it to be, that's the time when you need to dig the deepest. When you need to do the biggest housekeeping. When the smallest shift in perspective can make the biggest changes. It all starts with your mindset.

You are in charge of how you feel about this moment. In every moment. You are in charge of what you will do with this moment. With every moment. Empower yourself. Give yourself permission to acknowledge that things have been horrible if indeed they have been. Be grateful for your courage to witness and honor the struggles you've been going through.

There can be gratitude that you've moved through the worst of the difficult times and the upswing is right around the corner. That even though you thought you'd never survive, you made it out alive.

Because sometimes the only thing we can seemingly be grateful for is our breath. That we have this day to live. That life still flows through our body. That since we are still here breathing, there is a reason behind it. Life doesn't make mistakes. There are no mistakes in what you are experiencing. Only lessons.

When you take a moment to really dive deep into the gifts that the heartache and sorrow offer you, you will be grateful for them. They will become less overwhelming and you will be better able to allow yourself to begin moving forward.

So I invite you to stop and take a moment to discover what you can be grateful for. See your world like you've never allowed yourself to see before. It doesn't matter how much money you have in the bank or what things you've chosen to surround yourself with... discover what little things you can be grateful for this holiday season.

And just know that there are so many who are grateful for you. Just as you are.
I know I am.