“You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also
in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.”
~Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
Recently, I witnessed with awe as a friend struggled through a year of grief, unexpected legal problems, financial distress and more…..alone. These three biggies can trigger depression and bring us to our knees. She felt the full gamut of expected emotions: sadness, fear, anger and loneliness.
And yet, with incredible grace and resolve, she faced her challenges and made her way through the most difficult period of her life. You see, my friend lives with gratitude. It isn’t something saved for when the going gets good. It is why the going gets good.
Every time we talk, my friend speaks of gratitude. And today, she has not only survived the challenges, she’s thriving in ways she never expected. Her life is better than it’s ever been before and not for a moment does she take it for granted.
If you asked her today how she felt about her year of hell, she would undoubtedly answer “I’m grateful for it. Without those experiences I wouldn’t be where I am today.” She’s my gratitude role model.
But, I ‘get it’ that gratitude can sometimes be elusive. I’ve been there before. I’ve experienced my “dark night of the soul,” when the glass was definitely half (or more) empty.
It can be especially difficult as we head into the season when so many people feel isolated by their feelings of sadness and grief while [it seems] everyone else is making merry.
As we go through the holiday season and into the new year, we’ll be posting tips and resources to support those who could use an emotional helping hand.
Please share these ideas with others. Your comments are also encouraged in the section below and you can contribute ideas by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To avoid overwhelm, we’ll post a few ideas weekly.
- Get professional help if you (or others) think you need it.
- Google “crisis hotlines” for a list of agencies in your area that can help you.
- Gratitude can be the lifeline that takes you through the holiday season and beyond.
- Start small. Every day add ONE thing you are grateful for to a list you keep in the notes on your phone or a notebook you carry with you. Keep it handy so you can pull it out and read your list if you need a lift. If you can’t think of anything, be grateful for air.
- Go outside for at least 10 minutes every day regardless of the weather.
- Walk if you can, but just sitting and breathing is a game-changer too. Stay outside until the resistance (I’m cold, I don’t have time, this is boring, etc.) passes – usually about 10 minutes. Being outside will change your state of being without you doing anything!
- Read more about walking outside at http://www.rumblstrips.com/walking-my-way-out-of-darkness/
- Fill your brain with uplifting content at least once a day.
- Read books or magazines, watch videos, listen to podcasts (can be done while you’re outside walking for added benefit) anything and everything that interrupts the litany of negativity going on in your head. Here’s a sample YouTube to get you started:
Websites and articles:
29 Gifts, How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life, Cami Walker
This book has not been reviewed here, but has been read and is highly recommended. It’s an easy read, uplifting and real.