How to find gratitude when life gets tough

When life throws us serious lemons, it can be tough to make lemonade. It feels impossible some days. You lose a job, you lose your partner, you struggle financially. Someone recently asked me ‘how am I supposed to be grateful when my best friend gets cancer?’

I don’t have all the answers. Life can seriously suck. For me, it does suck somedays, some seasons – but gratitude helps me love life and all it’s suck anyway. I appreciate the joy even more once I’ve been through the suck.

I’m learning, slowly, we cannot deny our struggles or even deny the weight of them. Somehow though, from underneath it all, we need to accept the facts – the facts only – and rest in something larger than ourselves.


Whether the something larger is God, the Universe, Nature or anything you can believe in – we rest there – rest in the knowing life can be calm underneath the rocking waves. This requires a lot of faith and trust.

How to develop faith and trust? You guessed it. Gratitude. So here are some questions to ask yourself when life gets tough – If you can find gratitude in a few things, you will find even on your worst days, there is some light.

Were you able to get out of bed today and walk to the bathroom on your own?

Did you enjoy a coffee, a cool glass of water, a sweet concoction from a coffee shop, an alcoholic beverage?

Did you eat well this year?

Did you get paid for your work this year?

Do you have shelter, a place to keep you and your family safe and warm?

Are you healthy? Are your kids healthy?

Are your mom and dad still living?

Are you loved by at least one person?

Can you feel the sunshine on your gorgeous face? Can you feel the wind in your hair?

Do you have a pet you love?

Did someone smile at you today?

Are you able to hug someone today?

Do you have a pillow to snuggle up with every night? A blanket?

I asked myself most of these questions and wrote about them last night. If we can answer one ‘yes’ a day and say ‘THANK YOU,’ we are well on our way to a life of gratitude. Little steps can create a life long practice.

Life isn’t sunshine and roses every day. I know this. I’ve dealt with family illness, watched my hubs deal with some awful shit during his career, watched my dad die, struggled with anxiety and depression. I know other people deal with far worse. I know too, we all have something to be grateful for, every day. Every day we get to be here we get to be grateful.

Are you still with me on our #30daysofgratitude journey? I sure hope so! Are you creating an attitude of gratitude? Let me know in the comments below.

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