When the Thanks Don’t Come Easy: 4 Reasons to Give Thanks in the Midst of Hard Times

by GG of PeaceLoveandPrettyThings

Balance is everything. In order to have peace of mind, we must let go and allow ourselves to accept everything that life has to offer – the ups and the downs – without judgement. Highs come with lows, mistakes come with success and pleasure comes with pain. As we live through the extremes that create balance, we learn to ride the waves. We don’t get to choose balance, it’s divinely a part of this life. Our choice is whether we accept it or fight against it. When we look for meaning in the unpleasant and uncomfortable things that happen in our lives, we learn to embrace a consistent energy of gratitude that can sustain us through any and everything.

In the spirit of embracing balance, consider the following opportunities to give thanks even in the midst of hard times:

*Thanks for broken relationships. This one’s for the relationships that didn’t last. Over and over we ask ourselves what we could have done differently. But if every relationship is about growth and development, then there are times that we just have to let go once we learn what we are meant to learn. We can be thankful for the presence of mind to move beyond the emotion and look for the growth. Somewhere beyond the grief and pain is an important lesson waiting to be learned.

*Thanks for disappointment. Life is challenging. There will be change, discomfort, betrayal, misunderstandings, obstacles, mysteries, and grief. We will at times feel lost and forgotten. There will be situations that seem unfair. What looks bad today, can turn around and bless us tomorrow. We should ultimately be thankful for all these things because they are necessary detours we have to take to get where we’re going. We can’t avoid disappointment, but we can reframe how we think about it.

*Thanks for criticism. Let’s be thankful for the critics in our lives that push us to gain a firmer understanding of who we are. Through criticism we learn to develop a thick skin and a strong sense of self. Thanks to criticism, we learn that we can’t please everyone, so we might as well shine and be fulfilled from within. Likewise, we can stop taking everything so personally and looking for reasons to feel sorry for ourselves. Some criticism is constructive and some is not, but we have to go through it to learn the difference.

*Thanks for being alone. Many of us fear separation; the idea of being alone, and seemingly unwanted can be terrifying. We keep buffers around to avoid spending too much time on our own. There’s a special kind of wisdom that comes from appreciating and cherishing time alone. Sometimes we have to step out on our own and make a new way. Sometimes we have to spend time alone to discover that special thing that we love to do. We don’t necessarily welcome that alone time at first. But here’s to loving yourself enough to take time out to relate to your inner world, even when it’s not easy to do so.

What challenging aspects of life are you thankful for? Can you think back on difficult situations that you’ve faced and see the opportunities for growth and self-awareness?