Instead of blaming your ex for your struggles, focus on gratitude for the gifts of your relationship.
Thanksgiving in the United States means…long lines at Costco and Trader Joe’s, turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, sweet potato pie with marshmallows on top, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie, delays at the airport, traffic jams, and family tension.
Thanksgiving is also about giving thanks. It’s about gratitude. Having a gratitude practice – on Thanksgiving and every day – can help you get through the tough times in your life.
“Gratitude always comes into play; research shows that people are happier if they are grateful for the positive things in their lives, rather than worrying about what might be missing.”
— Dan Buettner
I can put things into perspective because I have a daily gratitude practice.
As I think about recent national and international crises, my heart breaks. And the issues I’m dealing with in my life pale in comparison. I can put things into perspective because I have a daily gratitude practice.
The first thing I do when I wake up is say “Thank you.”
Thank you for the gift of another day, for my healthy body and mind, for my wonderful children, my amazing clients. The list changes slightly from day to day, but gratitude is always the first thing on my mind.
Why is gratitude so important?
Life can be challenging. Things happen—a large bill for home or car repairs, a disgruntled client or boss, a child going through a tough time. And then there are larger, more devastating challenges—a scary medical diagnosis, or the tragic loss of someone you love.
How do you view your challenges? You don’t get to choose the crisis, but you do get to choose how you process it.
You don’t get to choose the crisis, but you do get to choose how you process it.
When you are grateful for what you DO HAVE rather than focusing on what you don’t, you can deal much better with whatever comes your way. You life become richer every time you manage a crisis with grace. And that’s sexy.
Gratitude helps in life and love
Ever been on a date with someone who was fuming at her ex for leaving her financially ruined? Exhausting, right? She is stuck in blame, which is a crappy place to be, for her and for anyone she dates.
Sure, it can be difficult to heal from a divorce or the breakup of a long-term relationship. But you have a choice as to how you process it. Instead of blaming your ex for your struggles, focus on gratitude for the gifts of your relationship.
Yep. If you have children born of that union, that’s the greatest gift of all. Maybe your ex taught you the importance of setting boundaries in future relationships. Perhaps he or she taught you the importance of good communication in a relationship.
Gratitude is sexy
You know what’s sexy? When a person takes responsibility for what they learn in life’s toughest moments, that’s attractive and very sexy. When a person is grateful for what they have, that’s sexy.
A Gratitude Practice
You want to be sexier? Develop a gratitude practice. I’ll start with my list of five.
My gratitude list
- My healthy, gorgeous, talkative 17-month old granddaughter
- My 3 wonderful, thoughtful, kind, beautiful children
- The amicable relationship I’ve developed with my ex-husband
- My inspiring clients who are attracting the loving relationships they deserve
- My ability to do work that I love, work that makes a positive impact on the lives of others
Wishing you and your family a gratitude-filled, loving, and very Happy Thanksgiving!
Please share your top 5 gratitude list in the comments below.
This article appeared in The Good Men Project
Photo: Flickr/Evelyn Lim