April 14, 2020 Blog No Comments

It has been amazing to hear the comments of gratitude from people in the midst of our surreal Covid-19 lifestyle.  It appears to be the most helpful perspective for coping with the restrictions we’re all under.

I have found this to be particularly moving since some of the people I work with are in really tough situations. Some live in shelters, have lost jobs or barely have enough to get by, yet they can recount all that they have to be grateful for. Gratitude has enabled them to cope more effectively, making things more acceptable.

To understand this, I listened to Brother David Steindh-Rast’s Ted Talk on “Want to be Happy, Be Grateful”*.  He likened gratitude to a gift that is neither bought nor earned. It allows us to savor a moment, to experience happiness, for there is no way to be assured that it will happen again. That’s the tone I’m hearing from people’s expressions of gratitude.

I love this because in difficult situations, our ability to cope is tested and it’s hard to be positive. Yet, gratitude offers an opening, allowing us to see the opportunity in unusual situations. It illustrates the resilience that is emblematic of our human nature. No matter the situation, finding the silver lining helps us cope and gives us hope to go on.

Here are some of the “gifts” of gratitude that are helping people reframe and cope with our unusual situation. See if they are true for you.

Gratitude For The Pause

The most prevalent comment has been about slowing down and having more time. Almost like a note of apology, I have heard myself and others say they had wished for some slow time.  Now here we are.

The pause is giving us time to reorganize, reprioritize, and relaunch.  Creativity is surging, the quiet is deepening us and we are reconnecting to our loved ones and our soul. It’s like a reset button has been pushed restoring us to our original selves.

Gratitude For Nature’s Glory

The unfolding spring has provided a note of normalcy that tells us the world is okay and we will be too. It’s allowed us to notice, as never before, the glory of the season.

I’ve said and have heard many express wonder at experiencing Spring up close and personal. From the glorious flowering of Spring Beauties, Virginia Bluebells, Daffodils, and Tulips, to the thrilling show stopping display of pink and white from Star Magnolias, Pears, Crab Apples, Red Buds and Dogwood trees, it’s been my constant focus of awe and gratitude.

Gratitude For The Kindness

There have been wonderful stories of kindness, heroic acts in the line of duty and willingness to be of service to others. From those providing health care and emergency services to those working at grocery stores and pharmacies to those preparing and delivering food. We are being taken care of, nurtured by their kindness and sacrifice.

There is a new appreciation for those in service on the front line. They have always been there, but now we see them and appreciate them as never before. Thank you has taken on new meaning.

Gratitude For Something New To Come In

In the midst of it all, there is new opportunity. From starting gardens, learning to work online, to doing art, and writing music, I see people being creative. There is time to be productive to clean out closets and organize. And there is time to take on something new.

We just got a puppy. I can’t believe the joy of it. It wouldn’t have happened if not for this perfect space and time to bond and enjoy. I’m so grateful.

How is gratitude guiding you through this unusual time? Is the pause offering you the space that you have secretly longed for, or is the wonder of spring filling your senses? Do you notice the kindness and sacrifices people are making to meet your needs, and taking the opportunity for something new? There is something for each of us to be grateful for. Take time to really appreciate and feel renewed at how it is helping you cope.

I hope this perspective of gratitude helps you recognize your resilience. If it doesn’t and you’re struggling, please reach out. Now’s not the time to be alone. It helps to receive comfort and direction to increase your capacity to cope. It’s what my Transformation Coaching and Counseling can offer. You can reach me at www.spectrumtransformation.com by using my Free Consultation link.  I’d love to help you right now.

 

* Ted Talk – David Steindle-Rast – “Want to be Happy, Be Grateful”

https://www.ted.com/talks/david_steindl_rast_want_to_be_happy_be_grateful?language=en

 * Photo – I have gratitude for my new pup, Bodhi

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Written by Connie Milligan, LCSW
If there is anything I’ve expressed that speaks to you, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at my email, connie [at] conniemilligan [dot] com