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Updated: Jan 11

For many years I wrote a blog based primarily around gratitude. A tag line I used often was "gratitude has the power to change the world, one heart at a time." I believe this principle as firmly today as I did then. But I will admit that when I stopped writing and focusing on thankfulness on a daily basis, it became easier to let it lapse a bit on occasion. So this month is meant to be a reminder to myself as much as to anyone else - that gratitude is immensely powerful.

Life is hard. It's full of stress, anxiety and pain. You need only turn on the nightly news to know that we live in a world of turmoil. War, hunger, disease, human cruelty. Economic uncertainty, high divorce rates. There are many things to be angry about. A myriad of things to fear. Sometimes it can overwhelm us in a sea of agitation and despair. These issues scream loudly, so they can't be ignored. But they are not all there is....

Life is also full of magic and wonder, if we take the time to notice it. There is beauty all around us. Joy. Laughter. Hope. These will not demand our attention in the way that problems do. Instead we must choose to embrace them. To celebrate them. To let them into our lives and spirits. When we do they are strong enough to combat negativity, but they will only have as much impact as we allow them to. Happiness based on gratitude is a choice. It is a lifestyle decision that can be made by anyone, at anytime, regardless of circumstance. There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Always. No matter what. Although at certain times of difficulty it may be harder to identify the good, the process of seeking after it daily is life altering.

Gratitude has carried me through many dark days, allowing me to smile in spite of hardships. That is worth reaching for. That is powerful. A thankful heart can laugh even when things are not "perfect" - because they rarely if ever are. So why not laugh? On a rainy day we can see the inconvenience and gloomy clouds, or we can see how beautiful the mist looks floating through the trees. We can look forward to how green the grass will be after the much needed moisture. Both perspectives are accurate. But one makes you feel happy, while the other does not. So which one will you choose??

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