Link love: Gratitude when it doesn’t come easy

In honor of the celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday yesterday in the U.S., gratitude seems like an appropriate topic to explore for this week’s link love.

I’ve shared a lot about how powerful the practice of gratitude is in my own life. The truth is that it’s still easy to be grateful when things are going well. It’s harder to maintain a practice of gratitude when things are not going so well. Of course, the true power of gratitude shows up when we use it in the hard times, even when we’re not finding it an easy practice to continue.

This week’s set of links are focused on practicing gratitude in those difficult times in our lives when it doesn’t come quite as naturally to most of us. (Or at least it doesn’t to me.)

The first link is to a post by Oriah Mountain Dreamer on The Green Bough blog called The Blessings of Things Gone “Wrong”.  She shares a lovely story in this post of how she was able to find blessings in having her Internet connection go down for several days. While this obviously introduced some difficulty (she posted the blog post from a library that did have Internet), it also opened some space for her to focus on other activities that she felt she had been neglecting. It’s a great reminder to look beyond the hardship that has our attention to see what else might be available for us in the moment.

The second link is to an email newsletter from Jeff Goins called You Don’t Have Thanks, You Give It. His article reminds us that it’s not just about feeling spontaneously grateful. Gratitude is a muscle that we practice over and over again. It’s an active thing that we engage in, and that repeated practice makes it easier and easier to continue practicing. The key is to keep actively practicing, though, no matter how we feel in the moment.

The last two links are both compilations of quotes about gratitude because when I am finding it difficult to motivate myself to practice, I find that good quotes are an encouragement to me to keep going because they remind me of how important this practice is. The first list is by Sherrie Bourg Carter on Psychology Today and is called Why We All Should Add Gratitude to Our Gift Lists: 10 Quotes about Giving Thanks. The second list is by Laurie and Betsy of the Writing Sisters blog and is called 20 Best Quotes About Gratitude.

I hope these links help to encourage you to keep practicing gratitude the next time you are finding it challenging. Keeping that muscle working even when it doesn’t come naturally makes those challenging times easier to deal with.

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