How to Find Gratitude, Even When It Feels Impossible
Life has a way of knocking us down — not once or twice, but on a consistent basis. How we choose to handle these setbacks can determine how quickly we can get back up and grind. It’s easy to look back on all the good things that have happened in life and be thankful. Landing your dream job; moving into that slick rent-controlled apartment;
But the difficult things? The breakup that left you heartbroken; the promotion you didn't get; getting behind on bills. It's hard to acknowledge when we've had setbacks. They don't make very interesting Instagram stories. However, the unpleasant things that happen to us shouldn’t be swept under the rug.
When life is making it difficult to get out of bed and face the day, just remember one thing:
You are the author of your own life!
Each and every one of us has the ability to look at a situation as either positive or negative. As Eckart Tolle points out in his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, "The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it."
Our thoughts are one of the most powerful things in the universe, and they are the novelists of what we manifest and create in our lives. We can write the pen lives as fairy tales or as horror stories, it’s whatever we choose. Only you can create the circumstances you want.
Easier said than done, right?
Yes, it’s extremely difficult to “see the silver lining” when problems are mounting. But here is the secret:
Recognize that there is a difference between problems and challenges.
What's the difference?
A problem is a situation that is regarded as unwelcome. Problems do not have the ability to remain in your life unless you allow it. As with anything that's unwanted in your life, you can let it go.
Tolle also points out that, “In order for a problem to exist you need time and repetitive mind activity. If danger arises in the present moment, there may be emotion, there may even be pain, but that’s a challenge, not a problem.” Problems can live a long shelf life if you keep stirring them up in your mind.
Problems are only problems if they are perceived that way.
Challenges are like a call to battle or any type of undertaking that can be overcome with strength of character. Challenges can also be opportunities. They are something that tests you, either good or bad. They have a beginning, middle, and an end. Like with anything, challenges do not have to remain in you life unless you allow it.
Take a deep look at your life and ask yourself where you problems and challenges lie. Is there a situation that you once perceived as negative that you can now see as positive? Are you holding on to a problem that you can let go of?
Just remember these three things:
You are the only person you will spend the rest of your life with.
You are solely responsible for your own happiness.
You can achieve the life you create for yourself.
Get it, girl!