I remember when my father died. I was heartbroken. It felt unfair and bleak and surreal and all of the things on the emotional roller coaster that grief brings us. And yet, I was so so grateful to have had him as my dad for 30 years. That profound gratitude gave a meaning to my suffering, a quietening of the raging waves of grief.
Gratitude is one of those feelings that we can evoke, any time, anywhere. No matter what is going on for us, finding something to be grateful for – even one small everyday thing – can help us to face the challenges and to access joy.
Many people are currently mourning the loss of our Queen. Many are also concerned about changes ahead and what our government will push through unscrutinised over this period of mourning. Everyone has their own feelings about the current situation and one thing is for sure, we must be kind to each other. But how can you also be kind to yourself?
If you’re grappling with some of the recent changes and uncertainties, know that it’s perfectly normal. If you are unexpectedly sad, can you give yourself permission to feel that sadness and mark it in some way?
Gratitude isn’t about false positivity. Feeling gratitude helps us to face difficult emotions rather than to turn away. It strengthens us. Practicing gratitude daily in good times means it is more available to us in hard times.
So what are you grateful for today? Here’s a practice you can try alone or even in a pair or group:
– Set a timer for 1 minute and for that minute say out loud “I love….”and list all the things you love or are grateful for.
– For another minute “I’d like to thank…” and list all the people past and present you would like to thank.
– Notice how you feel.
– Consider, is there any way you would like to actually thank those people? If they are here, can you connect in some way? If they are no longer with you, how could you mark that gratitude in a way that feels fitting to you?
Sending you love and compassion, whatever you’re feeling at the moment.