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An Attitude of Gratitude - Finding Joy in the Hard Times

Updated: Aug 19


It seems that “gratitude” and “thankfulness” are becoming popular buzzwords these days, and I’m not too mad about it. Practicing gratitude is a wonderful way to cultivate an abundant mindset.


But we face times in our lives when gratitude is the farthest thing from our minds. Life is hard. Life is messy. We get hurt, sad, and angry. We support people we love through the hardest moments and wonder why this is happening at all. Practicing gratitude can feel out of place in hard moments, like we’re trying to distract ourselves from what’s really happening. Gratitude in hard moments isn't a distraction.


Gratitude is light in dark places, and oxygen when we feel like we can barely breathe.


When I was a child, my parents taught me to say ‘thank you’ as a response to acts of kindness from others. They were thankful people all their lives. Even up to the end when my mom was dying in ICU, she was grateful for the kindness of the nurses who were tending to her. My dad was no different. While he was angry about needing to go into hospice care when my mom died, he was always gracious and grateful to the hospice caregivers. You see, being grateful was more than good manners for my folks; it was a way of life.


When I think back on all my parents went through, I can’t think of the difficulties they experienced without remembering their gratitude in the midst of it. While it didn’t make the hard things go away, their gratitude brought light into their darkness.


Gratitude is an attitude that ushers in joy even in the hardest circumstances.


I say often that when focusing on the positive, it leaves little room for the negative. That is the purpose of gratitude! It refocuses our attention onto the Grace and Goodness of God.


Expressing our thankfulness is a gift not only to others but ourselves. It can be an antidote in our suffering when we choose to find something to be thankful for. Quite honestly, it has been so helpful on my grief journey. It is helping me become more resilient and restoring my joy. I am so grateful my parents taught me the importance of gratitude.


I am grateful for you. For your interest in being in this space of creating an abundant mindset together. I am grateful for a night of rest. I am grateful that I get to have coffee with my friend this morning. I am grateful for a working furnace and a warm bed. I am thankful for the kindness of others extended to me in my grief.


Ok… you get the point. It’s really not as hard as we may think to come up with many things to be thankful for. So here’s a challenge for today. As you go through the day, I invite you to repeatedly say “thank you” in the tasks you perform, for the objects you use, to the people around you, to God and to yourself. Notice how it FEELS when you do.


Choose gratitude to brighten the darkness and create space for you to breathe.


May your day overflow with gratitude!


If you need help growing in your abundant mindset and learning how to practice gratitude and overcome negative emotions, schedule a free call HERE to see if 1:1 coaching is the right answer for you.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Richelle Hoekstra-Anderson is an Abundant Life and Business Coach. Her coaching utilizes a variety of tools to help you gain clarity on how you are designed for significance. When you come to understand and appreciate your unique design, you create the mindset to help you meet current challenges and live an abundant life. Ultimately, you gain new insight and learn the skills needed to create a confident life of peace, balance, and joy.

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