Be thankful, not only for your blessings, but for the really difficult and challenging things in your life.
This time of year, especially, there are many reminders to count your blessings. We are likely to acknowledge obvious good fortune, such as good health, loving family, close friends. We are certainly privileged if we are able to count these.
But what about the less evident things that make us who we are? We might not recognize them as blessings, especially while they are happening. But sometimes, the most difficult and challenging of situations can transform us and make us stronger, wiser.
Think about a particular struggle you faced this year. Maybe it was work related. Did you grow, professionally, as a result? Or, perhaps there was an unexpected obstacle that you had to overcome to achieve a personal goal. What did you learn about yourself? You might have found yourself in a conflict with a friend or family member. How did you conduct yourself?
To me, these are the true gifts. They test us and force us to expand our awareness, our emotions and our endurance for life. They lift us out of complacency, shake us up and set us back down with an improved understanding of ourselves.
Be grateful for all the good things in your life. Tell your family and friends that you appreciate them. Say ‘I love you’ more often. Enjoy the sunset. Take nothing for granted. Then, take a moment and acknowledge your battles. You wouldn’t be who or where you are, without them. Celebrate the hard times, too.
There is always something for which to be thankful.