Grace Through Gratitude

By Judi Price

There’s a lot of talk about gratitude these days. We’ve all seen the Gratitude challenges on Facebook. It’s the topic of books, articles and countless memes. Just search Gratitude Journal on Amazon and you’ll get over 7,000 results. And rightly so. Gratitude is a powerful emotion. It helps promote physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. It can increase your capacity for compassion and generosity for others and just make us nicer to be around in general.

Express gratitude for the things that are going well in our lives, the things we want in our lives—getting that raise, good friends, your loving relationship, great coworkers, etc. All the goodness that surrounds us. Expressing gratitude for all that is good in our lives makes sense, it’s logical. It keeps the negativity at bay. It helps us feel positive about our lives.

But what about expressing gratitude when life is not going the way you want it to or thought it would, when you are being challenged by seemingly unwanted circumstances or situations. Most of us see difficult situations and problems as things to be avoided. But we could see them as the most important and empowering moments in our lives. In Spiritual Psychology we call this: “Reframing Issues as Blessings”.

Reframing Issues as Blessings allows us to shift from a space of resistance to one of creativity, empowerment and even joy. It is an opportunity for healing and growth.

This is simple, but not necessarily easy. You have to make a conscious choice to take a look at the issue and ask yourself: “what can I learn from this?” “What is the growth and development that is available for me here?” “How can I use this situation or circumstance to empower and expand myself?” “What is the blessing in this situation?” When you are able to shift your attitude from one of avoidance—I don’t want this, this shouldn’t be happening to me, I don’t deserve this, etc—to one of acceptance, you will naturally find yourself experiencing gratitude.

So the next time you find yourself resisting or being upset about an unwanted circumstance, situation or problem—stop. Take a moment. Take a deep breath and ask yourself: “What is the blessing in this issue?” The answer may open up a whole new world for you.

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