Learn To Be Grateful for Everything—Even the Bad Things

grateful for everything
grateful for everything
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It’s the day after American Thanksgiving. 

First of all, I hope that you had an amazing day filled with amazing food and time spent with loved ones and those who are closest to you. 

For me, the holiday season always has me reflecting on what I am most thankful for in my life. We all know that we are supposed to give thanks on Thanksgiving and show our gratitude for all that we are blessed with, but what does it truly mean to show gratitude?

When you think about being grateful, you are probably like me and your thoughts immediately jump to all that’s exciting in your life. From belongings, experiences, to relationships, the vast majority of us tend to focus solely on the good when we hear the word “gratitude.”

But what about the bad? What about learning to be grateful for everything in life – even the things that are less than ideal? 

Being grateful isn’t just about reflecting on the good in your life. While reflecting on the good in life is an important piece of being grateful, it is just as important to be grateful for the negatives in your life as well. The negatives in life have helped to shape you into who you are today just as much as the good in life has. 

You aren’t always able to control what happens in life, but you do always have the power of perception. You can either be thankful for the experience, or you can be grateful that your life is no longer as negative as it used to be. 

Either way, it is both the good and bad experiences that we have faced over the course of our lives that have helped to shape us into who we are as individuals while also helping to get us to where we are today. 

Can you be grateful for the fact that your parents have moved to a different part of the country and now you are only able to see them once every few months? Can you be grateful for that flight delay that caused you to be late for Thanksgiving dinner? Can you be grateful that you just got laid off and have no idea what to do with your life now? 

The answer to all of these questions is yes. 

While it’s difficult to find the good in any difficult situation, it is possible! 

Life isn’t just about being grateful for the good. It’s also about being grateful for the bad because even the bad in life is still a gift. 

All of the bad that you may have experienced helps to put into perspective how good the good things in life truly are. If you didn’t ever experience some amount of pain or heartache, how would you know what the good in life feels like? The good would just become a new normal, and we would become expecting of only good things in life instead of cherishing it. 

You are who you are today because of each and every experience that you have endured up to this point in your life – both good and bad. It could be fighting a mental illness for years, but that mental illness taught you how to finally love yourself. It could be the loss of a job, but that experience finally gave you a reason to pursue your dreams or taught you how to work harder. 

All of these things have negative aspects, and they may have presented challenging times, but they still define the course of your life, and it wouldn’t be you sitting there right now without them. That’s something you should be thankful for.

As you reflect on Thanksgiving and resume your daily life, don’t forget to take some time out of your day to appreciate where you are, all that has led you to where you are, and give thanks for the life that you are living. Good and bad, all of it has helped to shape you into who you are today. And no matter what others may say, you are you and that is your greatest power.

Michael Bonnell

Yesterday’s post: There Are Two Ways To Live Life – Which One Do You Choose?

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