How to Have Gratitude for the Good and Bad in Life
How can you have gratitude for the good and bad in life? A lot of it has to do with re-framing the idea of what is a good and a bad thing. “The blessings we know and the blessings we don’t know” was always part of a prayer my Dad would say at family meals. Because in his mind, even the bad things that happen to us in life can be a blessing in disguise.
My Dad passed away in April 2018. He was very special to me as a Father, of course, but also because of his ability to always seem to look on the bright side. He had plenty of reason to be negative and pessimistic. At the age of 55, he was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia and given 6 months to live (in 1996). Luckily through various experimental drugs, one of which included a trial he was part of for the drug Gleevec, he was able to live another 22 years.
With that gift of time, he retired, was able to see his children get married and enjoy his grandchildren. Most of all, he got to spend many years with my Mom. He kept up his good attitude even through the later years when he was diagnosed with another cancer and my Mom was diagnosed with dementia.
Blessings We Know, Blessings We Don’t Know
My Dad’s opinion was things happen. And those things that happen are not always personal. We are not always able to see the big picture either. My Mom took care of my Dad when he was sick and then over the last several years he was around to return the favor. Today, my Mom doesn’t know my Dad is gone, which is another blessing in disguise. She would have been devastated with his loss as they were together for what would have been 50 years.
So, consider what you are calling a bad thing in your life. Are there any hidden positives there? Can you suspend your disbelief for a bit to let time work its hind sight magic? Some of the things I’m most grateful for are the things that I once wished would happen, but didn’t.
Personally, I am grateful the “one who got away” left my life, because otherwise I wouldn’t have the family I have now (my husband and three daughters). At the time I was devastated, but in hind sight, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Gratitude for the Good and Bad
To double your gratitude instantly, try this practice. Think about the blessings you know and the blessings you didn’t know until after the fact or you maybe don’t know yet. The practice of gratitude for the good and “bad” can change your life.
Please note – There are certainly some things in life which are bad by anyone’s definition. The above is a question of perspective, the other is not. If you have had truly bad things happen to you, please see a therapist who can help you with them. Help exists for everyone and you deserve it.
What do you think? I would be interested in your comments below on this subject. If you would like more ways to find gratitude in your life, please read “25 Ways to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude“.
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