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4 min Read
Published November 6, 2013

Six Ways To Be Thankful When Life Drags You Down!

For some people, the approaching holidays are filled with warm fuzzy feelings of spending time with family and friends, pigging out on Grandma’s cooking, watching football, enjoying the crisp fall air, and being thankful for a year full of success and looking forward to the future.

Then there are the rest of us, for whom, let’s face it, it’s been a crappy year. It’s easy to really feel like there’s nothing to be thankful for. Some of us have experienced tragic circumstances, battled financial problems, been through a divorce, lost homes by natural disasters, become unemployed, or even just had trouble finding a date.

As time goes by, we begin to feel a sense of separation and spiritual loss. No matter what the circumstances may be, the emotion of pain is the same for everyone. So how does one give thanks when they feel they have nothing to be thankful for?

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Helen Keller

Acknowledgement & Acceptance

To be thankful is to acknowledge and accept what ever situation you are going through and the challenges you are facing. We can feel overwhelmed at times with the weight of the world on our shoulders. It’s very easy for us to end up in a place of stagnation where the flow of energy seems to stop moving forward. We start feeling like we are just drifting through life and there’s no way out of the situation. It is important to remember, no matter how bad things seem to be, it will always be a temporary situation. Things always change with time.

Six Ways To Be Thankful When Life Drags You Down! 2Sometimes physical sacrifices must be made in order to spiritually grow. Lessons in life can be extremely hard, but we can not wallow in our self pity for too long before everything around us starts to crumble. Constantly complaining about how bad the future looks does not help and you have to face the fact that the past is in the past. You can not go back to change what has already been done but you can not stay where you are either. You must acknowledge the problems, respect the circumstances that have happened, and accept it’s time to move on. It’s up to you to put the wheels in motion.


Change of Perception

How you see the world and the problems that arise is a reflection of your inner self. If your perception of the world at the present moment is not all sunshine and rainbows, then that is how the world is going to reflect back to you. Everything in life and world around you is a mirror image of your inner self. You must learn how to change your perception. There is always going to be good and bad in the world. That is the motion of the universe and how everything stays in constant movement. You have to learn to find that same balance within yourself. When you are out of balance, your world is out of balance. Begin to focus on the things that make you happy and the positive things in your life. Focus on things that you can change about your situation. Find the desire and motivation within yourself to succeed. Everybody goes through rough spots in their life.

RELATED: 5 Life Lessons We Can All Learn From Cats.

The secret to overcoming these challenges is to remember all the trials and tribulations that you have overcome in the past and apply those lessons learned to the current situation. Visualize a positive outlook for yourself and how you would like to see the challenges you are going through resolved. Invite a sense of hope into your world and focus on a positive future outcome instead of dwelling in the present and the terrible ending you could face.


The Power Within You

Whether you realize it or not, we all have the power within us to create a life that you use to dream about. If you feel you deserve a life of hardships and troubles, then that is the life you will experience.

If you feel that everything you do goes wrong, then guess what? Everything will go wrong. You can self sabotage yourself without even realizing it. But if you have just a glimmer of hope within you, everything that you once knew was negative will become nonexistent.

When you realize the potential power that you have within yourself, you will no longer allow negative emotions to rule over you. You will learn to face problems that arise with calmness and logic instead of overacting to things you can not control. You will begin to awaken qualities within yourself that expand your mind and you will begin to look at problems with new perspectives that you haven’t thought of before. Hence the saying, “thinking outside the box”. With a new perception, you will understand the problems you face and in the same process often find the answers to resolve the problems within yourself.


Let Go of Fears

Fear of change prevents future gain. Letting go of fears is easier said than done. It’s very hard to deal with change that is outside our normal life.

We get comfortable with just drifting through day to day life and become content with a boring and unfulfilled existence. Letting go of your fear of change allows our deepest longings to light the path to our true soul purpose in life. We were are all here on this earth for a reason and one of those reasons was not be be unhappy.

Facing fears makes us stronger and doubts that use to linger in our minds quickly fade away. When you face and let go of your fears, you are also giving yourself a sense of empowerment. When someone has that sense of empowerment, there’s nothing that can get in your way!


Be Courageous

Life begins when fear ends.
Life begins when fear ends.

There can be no courage without fear inspiring it. Find the courage within yourself to not be defeated but to carry forward. If we went through life never experiencing difficult times, then we would never appreciate the things that are good in our life. Those hard times are what teach us to be thankful! Value your courage and be proud of what you have accomplished instead focusing on the things you didn’t accomplish.

Take a look at yourself and recognize just how wealthy you really are and see the things that you do have instead of focusing on the things that you don’t have.

The spiritual force of inner courage is way stronger than the physical strength of our bodies. Find the courage to step outside of your comfort zone.

Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side but you will never know until you take the steps to get there. And part of that first step is to let go of the fear of what might be or that could happen. It’s a mindless game we play with ourselves. Stop it! It’s a waste of time and emotional energy that can be applied to more positive things you can focus on.


Love Yourself

The only judge of your success is YOU! Learn to love and accept the different facets that make up your personality and who you truly are. Accepting the good and the bad we think of ourselves gives us a harmonious balance with the ying and yang of ourselves. Stop dwelling on what you could have been and enjoy who you already are. And if you do not like who you are, then you have the power to change it. It’s never too late to become the person you’ve always wanted to be. The only person you have to better than is you. Don’t compare yourself to others success or you will never be able to see the beautiful person you truly are. When you love yourself, that reflects out to the world and love returns ten fold. When you give love you receive love. Sometimes life has a way of turning things around.

RELATED: 6 Terrible Life Lessons Learned by Playing Final Fantasy.

We get caught up on trying to control every detail of our life and the way we think our life should go. Then, when things do not go the way we want them to, we see ourselves as a failure. But if you love yourself, you will see that you are not a failure, but someone who tried to accomplish something that was not meant for you to do. In that aspect, you will have not regrets in life because you tried it and it didn’t work out. At least you will have no regrets! So move on to the next adventure. Learning to love yourself can be used as a time for self discovery and finding the hidden talents within yourself you never thought you had. It allows you to follow your bliss and invites amazing opportunities in your life that you never thought could be possible. Loving yourself is the most precious gift you can do for yourself and that is definitely something to be thankful for.

I have always believed that when things don’t go my way, not to beat myself up about it.

Sometimes the Universe has a better plan for you and the path you are on is not meant for you to follow. We tend to favor tradition and can sometimes be apprehensive of change. Sometimes we have to go a different direction in order to avoid cataclysmic mistakes. Challenges can be obstacles, but they can also be good obstacles. They can take us on different path and send us in the direction we were meant to go. Have you ever looked back on your life and thought, “Wow! I’m so glad I didn’t go in that direction” or “losing my job was the best thing that ever happened to me”. Life is so chaotic at times that we can’t see the forest for the trees and the Universe guides us away from getting lost. Being thankful for all the good things that come into our lives is easy but not so much when life just plain gets hard! Not so good circumstances will always creep into our life.

It’s important to remember that with obstacles there is a lesson to be learned. Take the time to reflect what’s really important in your life during these trying times. There is always something in life to be thankful for even if it’s just being alive to live another day. Make the most of the day you are given and live it like it’s your last day on earth. Be thankful for just being you is a start and the rest will follow.

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  • Hope Thompson


  • Trying to educate the world one SLICE OF HISTORY at a time! Hope Thompson is a freelance journalist focused on hidden history, Southern & Appalachian folklife, and Native American culture. She is a native of North Carolina and has been writing for this space for four years. She currently works in state government finance and owns a graphic design business. All my articles.

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