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Through simple things and simple pleasures. By staying close to my husband, literally hugging him a lot, and us telling each other, ‘It will be alright.” Talking to God and letting in that feeling that tells me I’m not alone.
I’m experiencing fourth day of migraines today . Right now I don’t know . I’m grateful there are people who care .
I m so sorry about your migraines, Antoinette.
There have been times when I couldn’t see out of the darkness. I couldn’t feel gratitude. Only self pity and fear. Looking back, I am able to see that some spark, some light will come through and give me something to turn on my gratitude. This has been my way out of dark times. Learning to be present is teaching me that I can practice gratitude and develop a better way of copping. Reading all of your responses is so inspiring. Thank you all for the deep sharing.🙏
For me, I struggle to be grateful “amidst” the hardship and loss as my body is hyper vigilant. It is not until I remove myself (physically or emotionally) from the situation and find a safe and peaceful moment in time to describe my feelings and ask myself why I feel how I feel. Typically, hiding 3 layers beneath my initial answers lie the source of my gratefulness. For some reason I am turned off by people that tell me “you should be grateful you were able to have so and so in your life” when my mind and body aren’t in the right state to receive that message. I can only experience gratefulness after the sensory overload passes and I can be present with myself.
It’s awful to hear people say things like that I know how you feel. It’s ok. Thank you for sharing.
I have always found that in times of crisis, I find someone always there supporting me. Often from a place least expected .. and I am always so grateful that I am never alone in a way. That is the mark of a thriving community .
To experience Gratefulness amidst hardship/loss, allow just some moments to look beyond the crisis to see those who have helped or at least tried to provide comfort.
learning, practicing, daily …
When my dad died, it felt like with him, went everything good. All the colours in the world were leeched. And I was alone. I was completely bereft. My heart was desiccated – a thing parched – an old leather bellows, cracked and wheezing. It kept the beat, but only just, and only, begrudgingly, out of habit. There was no purpose to anything. There was only the grey. A sea of emptiness.
Every now and then, I would catch a glimpse of him at the edges of my vision. This was very painful, as he proved elusive. As soon as I moved my head in his direction, he would disappear.
It seemed that the view out could no longer contain him. He’d gone. But where? I knew I could search every vantage. But even if I traversed this Universe to its farthest infinite reaches, I knew I would not find him.
This single eye, which holds everything, appeared to no longer hold him. But was this true? Or was it just a question of form? Him no longer Thing, but rather some sacred essence – woven now into the fabric of the eye itself? If who we really, really are is all the same clear light of emptiness, then when I look Here, don’t I have him in full view after all? Awareness always brings the blessing of Gratefulness.
I was diagnosed with a serious illness, I was deeply grateful that I was so happy before I started the treatments. I remember stopping on the steps of my home and giving thanks for this happiness.
My husband and I have reached the ages of 83 and 73 and are experiencing the passing of friends and family. Also, I have lost many dog friends in the past year. I try to focus on all the love and joy they brought to my life while we journeyed together.
When I was told that my daughter would stay handicapped it was not easy for me to accept that. But i was always very grateful that she choose me as her father. So I am allowed to enjoy her love towards me and my own love towards her. Great inner pain and thankfulness at the same time.
It feels like Grace . . .
the interlocking of grief and gratefulness,
I will simply echo what Jerri has shared. I’m grateful to have learned along the way (it took awhile!) that I am the Beloved. That God and the Universe is for me and not against me and that all things are unfolding in my life for my highest good….despite how it may feel in the moment. This awareness of Divine Presence and unconditional Love has led to a deep and abiding gratefulness at my core. I will admit that there have been times when I had to go deep to find it…but it is always there waiting to be discovered.
~Om Shanti, peace peace friends ♥
I have many times experienced the Divine plan unfolding for me and others. Through all pain and hardship there is a deeper reality, a deeper purpose for us. If we look for the love within it, we will find it and be reassured of Spirit’s constant presence in our lives. That reminder always fills me with gratitude even in the midst of suffering because I know there is a reason, a lesson to learn or an experience to go through; all for the purpose of awakening and spiritual growth.
Many years ago I discovered a lump in my breast. I found it on Friday of a 3-day weekend and couldn’t get a biopsy for several days. I lived suspended in time, looking so closely at everything and seeing it all in sharper detail, from the leaves on trees in the backyard where I sat thinking about what would happen to my young daughters to the blades of grass below. It was all so, so beautiful. Fortunately the lump turned out not to be cancer. I remember thinking then that I would forget to look at things so closely and with such appreciation and that I wanted to hold onto that crystalline awareness of the everyday beauty that surrounds us. I didn’t keep it in my conscious awareness all the time but I return to this memory again and again: pay attention and be grateful.
A couple of days ago I read a poem by Mary O’Connor about her cancer treatment, “Good Days”. It fits this question well and describes those feelings I had when I didn’t know if I had cancer. https://www.ayearofbeinghere.com/2014/07/mary-oconnor-good-days.html
Barb, Yes, “pay attention and be grateful.” Our intention always grabs our attention. That is a very good intention.
I try to focus on the lesson that is being learned during the hardship. This helps me to be grateful for the tough situations that life throws at me and to savour the moment.
I have experienced gratefulness amidst periods of hardship by trusting my journey. I am learning to embrace hard times as well as the good. How boring would life be if we didn’t have challenges to face/overcome? It’s all apart of the greater story. I am also learning to ask myself this question… Why is this happening FOR me? We often get in the habit of saying “Why is this happening TO me?” When we rephrase life in this way, we will always have something to be grateful for. What are the hardships here to teach me? This is my new approach.
I love this approach…life, God and the Universe are FOR me, not against me. ♥
I wish I could say that I was always able to experience gratefulness in periods of hardship and loss but I wasn’t. There had been so much negativity in my upbringing that it took many years for me to understand that life is trustworthy and so am I; that vulnerability is not weakness and that I was of worth if not always worthy. From beginning to end, life is about learning to let go, it’s birth, death, resurrection–over and over. I realize today that I had a lot to unlearn from my childhood conditioning. I was making major decisions out of fear and a need to control. Mindfulness has freed me and taught me that the biggest battles are within. These days I do my best to see any hardship as a situation not a problem. I’m in the winter of my life. Losses occur on a regular basis.Everything from the loss of friends and family to talents and health. I grieve my losses but I don’t resent them. I seldom ask “Why?” I just pray for the wisdom to learn from every one and everything that happens and give thanks for the opportunity.
Carol….thank you. Your words resonate with me. One of the many gifts of this site is the reminder that we are not alone in our journeys…realized because of the vulnerable, deeply authentic sharing like yours.
Diane, I deeply appreciate your words. Thank you.
“A situation, not a problem”–what a great insight. Thank you for sharing this.
Barb, You are welcome. I first heard that terminology (a situation not a problem) in a book by Eckhart Tolle and latched on to it. It has been most helpful to me, especially when anxiety comes to visit!
It seems that when things are the most difficult, the smallest everyday details pop with brilliance — the vibrant hues of a bluebird, the absolute joy in a baby’s smile, the majesty of a tall oak. It’s not that I don’t notice these things in easier times. They just seem to have an intense resonance when I experience life’s lows. Like gentle sign posts to remind me that in spite of the difficulties I face, there is so much beauty and good to be grateful for.
Yes! I’ve had this same experience.
Laura, this is lovely. It is the important awareness I am learning by being a part of this community and this site with all of you.
After recently contracting COVID at work, I inadvertently exposed my entire family. We all got sick-not too bad that we needed to be hospitalized… We needed rest &
was able to catch up on sleep. We all felt better after 2 days. It was like a mini-vacation in a way while isolating at home. My children ages 8, 4, 2.5 did not have too much resistance taking medication.
It was definitely not fun but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
It is very hard to experience gratefulness amidst periods of hardship or loss. I had a few moments in my life when I couldn’t find that peace and gratitude, but then I thought twice, and I saw what I have, and I realized that there is always something there for us.
I will tell you a story that makes me grateful until today: my closest uncle passed away in a very painful way, very fast. I live abroad so I took the first flight and flew back to Portugal. It was only when I stopped in Amsterdam that my adrenaline stopped and I realized I was flying to the funeral of the man that was my uncle, my grandfather, my example… I started having a panic attack at the airport and a Portuguese man approached me with water and only said “everything will be alright”. He stayed with me all the time, we talked, he made me smile, we talked about dreams, goals, jobs… He was looking for a person to work with him with good English skills in Portugal and I gave him the contact of one of my best friends. I told her and she informed me she was actually loosing her job and that she would contact him. He hired her and she loved him and working for him. Until today I remember that moment and I think my uncle put that person there for me and for the happiness of those around me <3
beautiful story, thank you for sharing:)
Maria…thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story. I have a feeling that these type of events in our lives happen more often than we realize. I believe it is the awareness of these Divine mysteries that open our hearts to gratefulness.
I completely agree with you <3
Thank you Maria, this gave me goosebumps. It is lovely and meaningful. Thank you for sharing it.
During such experiences there has always been a person, or persons, who stepped forward and asked what they could do, or who knew me, and perhaps my family, well enough to show up in person.and offer comfort, food, time, a memory, maybe a box of kleenex, a walk among the trees. Kindred spirits have always been near in one way or another.
Good morning, Diane! I hope that you and your family are well. Are the temps quite hot where you are living? We have had every kind of weather except snow over the past week. Blessings, my friend!
“Though miles may lie between us, we’re never far apart. For friendship doesn’t count the miles, it’s measured in the heart.” (Author unknown, found in the book Distilled Genius by Susan Branch.)
Good morning Pilgrim! Such a joy to be here with you on another Prayer Tuesday.
The summer weather is quite different here in the West than on the East Coast…where I lived for 65 years of my life. The sun is strong and there is no humidity as this is a dry, desert-like climate. The surprising thing about this spring/summer (our first here) is the wind, although neighbors who have been here longer say it has been quite unusual this year.
The quote by Susan Branch made me smile…just so perfectly describes the gift of our enduring cyber-friendship 🙂
Blessings to you as well my dear friend. ♥
I experienced gratefulness in the kindness of strangers and the strength of my faith.
I experience gratefulness during periods of hardship or loss by recognizing that I am grateful for that person/animal to begin with. Periods of hardship offer lessons to learn from. It’s important to be grateful each and everyday, we are all on borrowed time.
However deep or profound a particular hardship, or loss, had been for me to live through, I have always been blessed to be among the grace and comfort of people who either were experiencing the same pain, or, knew when to ask, “How may I help?”
I am very grateful that I have been able to live most of my life with my great love Karel. It was love that united us. When Karel became ill and died a short time later, my family and friends said: “Chrisje cannot live without Karel”. I felt so much pain, an indescribable feeling. But I also felt an enormous love burning in my heart, also indescribable. I keep feeling that burning love, and that is why I can still feel very happy with Karel. He has moved to my heart. Chrisje (Christine) does not have to live without Karel. I am grateful.
Thank you for touching our souls <3
Christine….each Tuesday when I visit here I look forward to, and am touched by, your generous,courageous sharing. Please know that you have this unique and wonderful ability to speak to our hearts. God bless you as you continue your journey with your beloved Karel still with you. Thank you Chrisje. ♥
I don’t know what to say. I feel myself blush. You get a big hug from me, Diane 😊💕🌷
This is beautiful, Christine, to know that the ones we love stay with us always.
love can not die, Barb. ❤🌷
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