How easy it is to allow our ego to bruise our wounds even further. When we have just received an unexpected punch from life, and are desperately seeking a nurturing hand to lift us up; our ego appears with a firm palm pressing us down hard. It laughs condescendingly while repeating many discouraging affirmations: "I am a failure. I will never recover from this. My life is a total mess. I was so stupid to even have tried."
In order to bravely stand in confidence when life has knocked us down requires courage and strength. And to generate these qualities under our ego’s suffocating grip is almost impossible.
However, something that is much easier to focus on is gratitude. So simplistic, yet with a magnitude that cannot be conquered. Visualise gratitude as a candle: once lit, it is used to light other candles. And within minutes, you have a whole room of brightly lit candles in every colour.
Never underestimate the hidden powers of gratitude. And it is so easy to cultivate, no matter how badly you have been beaten by life.
Start by being grateful for physical things around you, as they are already tangible and visible. Whether it is a soothing cup of coffee or a reassuring cuddle from a pet; everybody has at least one thing to be grateful for. Nature is overflowing with a rich abundance of beauty that we can focus our gratitude on. And no matter how grey and lifeless your current adversity has made life seem; nature will always be there to remind you that we live in a vast world overflowing with endless possibilities.
Very recently, my gratitude has been towards a particular author, Lysa Terkeurst. Her wisdom has been the reassuring life support needed to see me through many challenges. Her insights have helped me to change my perspective in situations that have seemed to have no solution whatsoever.
Seek gratitude in any area that resonates most for you. Try to calm your fears and simply open yourself up to the possibility that hope and reassurance are gently waiting to guide you through whatever challenge you are currently facing.
Your ego’s clasp will be forced to weaken, and without any effort at all, your courage will slowly return. By actively focussing on gratitude every time fear overwhelms you, your gratitude list will grow exponentially. Life is full of unexpected challenges, but it is also full of brilliant blessings. And with gratitude’s help, the mountains will seem less steep and easier to overcome.