Gratitude for Our Life Challenges

It is easy to get caught up in the rush and obligations of our everyday lives, and lose track of appreciating all that is wonderful and supportive all around us. While negative, fearful or hurtful events will occur in anyone’s life as a part of the physical world experience, how we perceive and integrate those experiences is vitally important.

When we want to be physically stronger we may go to the gym and lift weights. We strain our muscles and create a bit of pain in order to achieve the desired goal – increased muscle mass and greater stamina.

When we want to be emotionally, psychologically, or spiritually stronger, we must go through a similar process. Those aspects of us need to be pushed to the limits in order to increase mass on those levels. We do this by setting up various challenges for ourselves through life experiences.

The difference is this: When we go to the gym we work out, lift those weights, stress and strain our bodies, and then put the weights down. We leave the gym and enjoy the fruits of our workout, showing off the tone and firmness of our bodies.

When we “lift the weight” of emotional challenges, we tend to forget to put them down. We keep schlepping them around with us as so much emotional baggage. We identify with the event and think that it defines us. Instead of focusing on how much we have grown and how wise we have become due to these extraordinary circumstances, we are crushed under the weight of it all.

Can you imagine carrying around those dumbbells every day? Can you imagine defining yourself by the details of your gym or the equipment you use there? Hardly!

In the same way that you are glad to have a gym and appreciate yourself for going to your workout and refining the shape of your body, you can appreciate the challenges that have shaped your character. What do you think it would be like to be grateful for the emotional workout your life’s events have brought to you, and appreciate how much you have grown and refined the shape of your soul?

It may seem difficult to be grateful for having gone through an event that caused pain or suffering, or that left you feeling sad, abandoned, guilty, or angry. But rather than focusing on the “weight” of the event, try focusing on how it shaped you. Did you become stronger, more compassionate, or more intuitive? Did that experience inspire you to become more independent or a better parent?

Perhaps you could have gained those traits another way, yet the reality is that you have gained them through these challenges. And since you lived through those experiences, they are a part of who you are. Living in a state of gratitude for the strengthening of your soul and the lessons you have learned offers a more positive experience moving forward.

Take a moment to feel the gratitude for all your life experiences, and sense the shift in your energy that radiates from you. Imagine  the impact that positive energy will have in your life, and what it will attract to you. How will that positive energy and gratitude influence what is shaping you as you move into the future?