Finding Gratitude in Tough Times

There’s a memory I hang onto when times are hard and I find it difficult to feel grateful.

I’m 24 years old standing in a bathroom no bigger than a linen closet, staring at my bloodshot eyes in a mirror. I’m at work, crying over a breakup I was sure I’d never survive, trying to pull myself together to go back into my office. I’m a bookkeeper at a construction company and my desk is in the owner’s renovated garage. He’s not the warmest guy in the world and I know I need to suck it up and get back to work but I feel devastated and inconsolable.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

And Christmas.

And I wonder how I’ll get through the holidays alone.

As I recall this memory, I see myself standing at the mirror trying to talk myself out of my suffering. This tough time will end, I tell myself. You’ll find someone better. The guy was a loser and didn’t deserve you.

None of it works and when I finally blow my nose and splash cold water on my face before heading back to my desk, I take one last look in the mirror – straight into my eyes – and something stops me from moving.

I hear a voice that says: “Sweetheart, we’ll get through this. Be grateful. Your pain has brought us together.”

At the time I had no idea who the voice belonged to or where it came from. All I knew was that I instantly felt better. The voice was kind, comforting, and confident. Its strength was reassuring and some part of me knew I could trust it and that gave me hope.

That day, pain introduced me to the Self and we’ve been in contact ever since.

So many years ago and I still recall that moment of sweetness I felt in the middle of my sadness – a strange relief at knowing I wasn’t alone even though I was. The experience launched a love affair with a presence I’ve come to rely on and it’s given me a reason to be grateful during tough times because I know she will draw near.

As we head into a difficult holiday season, I pray you meet or stay connected to, the Self who always has your back. And your front. And everything in between. She’s there. Always has been. Always will be. You just need to look within and listen.

For those of you in the states, I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with gratitude for all the goodness that exists in spite of the pain.

Thank you for being with me ♥️.

Love,

Cheryl

Comments

Ozge 25th November 2020 1:25 am

Dear Cheryl,
Thanks for sharing this. I had been in such a similar situation that at first I thought you somehow learnt about my life and you were writing about it :)
I am grateful for everything and for the ability to feel the love of the One.
Cheers,
Özge

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Cheryl Richardson

Cheryl Richardson is the author of The New York Times bestselling books, Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace and her new book The Art of Extreme Self Care. She was the first president of the International Coach Federation and holds one of their first Master Certified Coach credentials.

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