As I have been working on pre-release activities for Of Grief, Garlic and Gratitude, it has made me think again about why the concept of gratitude is so important to me.
For me, gratitude is the core concept/belief of recognizing the good. After Sam’s death, I was so sad, so overwhelmed, it was easy to “grow a garden of grievances,” instead of recognizing what was going well, or how hard people (or animals) were working to support us. It was the changing of my own responses from being mad when the store clerk was rude to instead recognizing (and being thankful) when the other customer thanked me for helping her. It was recognizing when neighbors helped us round up the alpacas when they escaped, instead of being mad they (the alpacas) had jumped the fence.
My grief was so strong, so deep, that it would have been easier to just slip below the waves of the grief and drown. I, we, made a conscious decision to not drown, and the only way I could find to keep my head above the waves was to actively look around me, and find the positives, and then to openly give thanks for them.
No matter what, no matter how complete the darkness, there is always something for which you can be thankful.