Gratitude is a positive life approach

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People who consciously practice gratitude live and breathe positivity. It is a general observation that I also connect to my own definition of “being positive”: a path towards resilience versus just “appearing positive”, which essentially just buries unprocessed negative feelings. I make a distinction of the two in my example below.

“Gratitude means I process negative situations with a positive outlook.”

Right off the bat, I tell my kids this: Gratitude is NOT blind towards suffering. When someone comes to us with a problem that they are dealing with, encouraging gratitude doesn’t mean the disregard of what the other person is going through by “cheerfully” suggesting a good thing that one should be grateful for. Forcing gratitude is counterproductive. I have seen this many times (I’ve done it too). When we rush into “thinking positive” as some sort of trick that drives away negative juju, it actually devalues the intrinsic beauty of gratitude. “I just lost the contest.” - “I should be grateful I got second place!” Classic example of appearing positive under the guise of being grateful. And it steers us farther from resilience, which is necessary to become a grateful person even in bad times.

Gratitude is acknowledging that things don’t always work out the way we want them to. We don’t deny the failure, the mistake or the injustice. We take the time and the space we need to deal with the pain and the discomfort. Then we reach a crossroad where we CAN DECIDE to be grateful for the feelings (even negative ones) and the lessons we learn from the experience.

So here’s a real-life example:

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Life is how we see it. So on dark days, let’s count stars. And everyday, let’s count rainbows. Yes?