Patricia Lynn Belkowitz, M.Msc., C.Ht., EFT





Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? You know that time when your heart was breaking? Or that time when you felt frustrated and angry? And what about the time when you thought you were going to lose everything? You didn’t know how you were going to survive. Ask yourself this…does it really matter now?

Life happens. There are obstacles and challenges. People disappoint us. Sometimes there is illness. Or unemployment. And one thing we can all depend upon is that all things are temporary. All things. Life is happening moment by moment. We really don’t know what the next moment may bring. It could be amazing. It could be devastating.

We often feel gratitude for the good things happening in our lives. We are always thankful when we are happy and we think things are going the way we want. That’s easy. But I’d like you to consider that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset. What happened? Does it matter now? Often life’s challenges and problems are just opportunities in disguise.  We are in a position where we don’t have a choice. We have to become better in order to handle our problem.

When we are thankful for the setbacks we’ve experienced, our life becomes more fulfilling. When we look for the positive results or outcomes of our negative experiences, we realize that it all happened for the best. Each of us faces challenges in life. New challenges build your strength and character. It’s been said that “what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.”

When you don’t know something, be thankful that you have the opportunity to learn. Read a book or take a class or watch a YouTube video. Make the effort to educate yourself. Maybe you were unemployed 5 years ago and decided to go back to school. Maybe you are now successfully enjoying a new career which not only feeds your bank account but nourishes your soul. If so, be thankful for the gift of your unemployment.

Be thankful for your mistakes because they teach you valuable lessons. You know what not to do. This helps you to know better what to do. You’re given the opportunity to try again and you are more prepared to succeed. You gain confidence and perseverance.

Difficult times are difficult at the time. But the difficulties fade. Our perception of them changes. We know that it is physiologically demanding and quite painful to deliver a baby. But our mind adjusts to that difficulty enabling second, third or even more babies to be delivered. We forget the pain of labor. It diminishes over time. Our perception changes as time passes.

When you’re tired and weary and don’t know if you’ll be able to go on, be thankful because your work and efforts made a difference in the world. Be grateful for your physical abilities and strength. Be grateful for your skills and talents. Positive thoughts can energize your physical body and motivate you to continue.

I agree with self-help author, Melody Beattie when she says, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

What happened 5 years ago? How are you better for it? When you are thankful for your troubles, you realize they can become your blessings. And even if you don’t already have everything you want in your life, be thankful for that. If you had all your heart’s desires, what would there be to look forward to?

Gratitude can turn negatives into positives. It can help you to look back on that time 5 years ago with a different perspective. It may even bring a smile to your face.