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A Woman Alive

December 4th, 2013

Rigorous Gratitude

By Diane

I have been giving gratefula lot of thought to gratitude over   the past few weeks.  I have a pretty solid practice, each day listing those pieces of my life, the people and the opportunities I am grateful for.  However, in the throws of letting go of a relationship, struggling with some pieces around my family and worrying about some major changes I need to make, I realized that I was not utilizing the practice of gratitude as tool to help me through these challenges.

On Sunday I attended a service at Celebration Spiritual Center. I was having a rough day. I was feeling the darkness creeping in.  The pastor spoke of finding comfort in the discomfort and light in the darkness.

“But how?” was the question I kept asking myself.  And I realized the answer came directly back to gratitude.

Gratitude is more then being grateful for what is obviously good and wonderful in one’s life. In that moment I recognized how important it is for me to find gratitude also in the moments of hurt and struggle.  When I shifted my thoughts to finding the gifts in the darkness, the comfort and the light began to appear.

These gifts are available in the lessons and in the memories.

I am grateful for:

  • The love I have held and shared;
  • The lesson I have learned about loving without expectations;
  • Truly opening up to knowing I am valuable and bring joy to others;
  • The gift of acknowledging my past mistakes openly and without shame;
  • Self-forgiveness;
  • Trusting myself and my decisions;
  • My willingness to have the tough and honest conversations.

All of our experiences leave an imprint on our memories. And when similar experiences occur we will respond according to how we responded in the past.  So how can we shift this? How can we experience a mistake or struggle or pain but not carry the negative emotions into the next event in our lives?

One very cool strategy I learned (via neuro-linguistic programming) is to move through struggles with a positive memory of the experience rather then a negative emotion. You anchor the lesson you have learned and discard the rest.

I would add to this strategy: In life’s painful moments learn to be rigorous in your gratitude for the lesson of the experience and move forward from darkness into the light!

* A special thanks and hug to Yolanda and Greg of Celebration Spiritual Center!

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