Cathy shares her story


How Gratitude Can Take the Sting Out of the Struggle


It is not joy that makes us grateful. It is gratitude that makes us joyful. ~ Unknown

Many days I end my journal writing with listing at least five things that I’m grateful for.

Writing down a few things that are going well helps me feel better about my day.

It makes me happier.

Of course, there are days when I miss, but generally writing a journal has been a tool that I use to unload those swirling thoughts, the constant mind chatter that keeps me feeling anxious.

Sometimes when we are struggling, we have to be reminded to be grateful. It is so easy to get caught up in the chaos of others around us.

The first time I realized that there could be a silver lining to a bad situation was when I was child of about 9 or 10. I was playing down the street from my home with my neighborhood friend in her backyard.

With all the jumping and running we were doing, I slipped and fell backward hitting my head on the edge of their cement planter. The resulting cut on my head was fairly large and I was driven to the doctor to have it immediately checked out. 

It was a frightening situation as I didn’t know how bad it was.

The cut was definitely stitch worthy, but beyond the visit to the doctor and a few stitches,  the cut on my head would heal and life would continue.

While getting ready for bed that night, I remember my mom saying to me before she turned out the light, “Be grateful for this day. It could have been so much worse.”

I realized at that moment that gratitude plays a part in our lives during the good times as well as the bad. We learn from our challenges and set backs. We heal and find joy when we look for something positive even when things are not going well. We learn to look for the bright spots when people, such as our kids, decide to make poor choices.

What I’ve realized is that gratitude is at the core of our happiness.


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