As we approach the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday there is an increasing focus on the concept of gratitude. Gratitude, which rhymes with “attitude,” comes from the Latin word gratus, which means “thankful, pleasing.”
If you struggle with the concept of gratitude, you are not alone. Commonly, people say “how can I be grateful when I am in emotional pain” or “gratitude feels selfish; people are suffering and I feel guilty appreciating what I have when others have less”. People commonly get stuck in these ways.
You can turn to dialectical reasoning and the concept of “both-and” to get un-stuck. With this approach you can make space for two opposite things to exist at the same time. For example, you can be in emotional pain and appreciate that you can physically hug a friend or loved one. Or, you can honor that you have a roof over your head while having compassion for those that do not. One does not need to over-shadow the other – the truth is that both exist.
Finally, please remember that gratitude is a practice. One moment of gratitude matters and many moments throughout the day truly make a difference.
Much love to you this holiday season! We are grateful for you!