Photo by Anton Ponomarenko on Unsplash.

Kristi Nelson, Ambassador for Grateful Living and the author of Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted is clear about this: waking up grateful can admittedly be hard, and remaining grateful even harder. In this article, she explores how to be grateful in the midst of it all:

I usually awaken expectantly to each new dawn, but in times of great uncertainty, suffering, and loss, a heaviness descends and makes rising into the day more difficult. The unknown fate of our lives and world can be a heavy weight to bear. Given daily headlines that increasingly defy belief, any open-hearted, compassionate person who tries to find cause for consistent happiness, gratitude, or optimism will be stymied. Indeed, looking to develop a wholly positive attitude in the face of the wrenching circumstances we face does not make sense and will not, alone, offer us relief. The need to acknowledge and face the truth of all that is broken and in need of repair pulls at any tender heart that is awake.

It is in the moments when I am suffering most for the world that I realize I can often become incapacitated, looking for life to attend to me rather than turning myself to attend to life. In these times, I have forgotten that carrying a heavy burden of suffering is not the debt I owe a hurting world, nor the way I best prove my care. I have forgotten that it is exactly the pain of a broken heart combined with my belief in healing that offers me the capacity I need in order to be engaged. I have forgotten that when my eyes fill with wonder and my heart with love or joy, I do not betray my concerns for the world — I nourish my capacity to attend to them. Read the rest of this article here.