Inspired by Kristin Hoffmann’s, Love & Gratitude

The greatest gift of gratitude is that it can be felt in your most joyous times and your most trying times. Considering the immense challenges of life, it is a blessing to know that feelings of gratitude are linked more to perception then circumstance.

Gratitude is a powerful tool that has the capability to transform loss into gain and fear into love. The only requirement for such transformation is a willingness to allow emotions to break you free from attachments and aversions—your expectations and fears.

Loss, whether in opportunity, treasured belongings or those you love, is rarely easy. When reality fails to match your expectations, or the perceived expectations of those around you, irritation, humiliation, sadness, and even anger boil to the surface. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

By pausing in the midst of difficulty to thank the Universe for allowing you the opportunity to feel whatever arises, you free yourself to live vibrantly regardless of circumstance.

Some disappointments are easier to adjust to then others. The good news is that each time you practice shifting your perspective, you open yourself to the gentle warmth of knowing that every experience is happening for you, not to you. This is true even when you don’t know how such happenings could possibly be working for your highest good.

This past year has shown me the importance of allowing myself to experience whatever feelings arise while adjusting my perspective each time. I have a choice—embrace reality, or struggle against it. Such decisions have proven to flip devastation on its head, as I come to appreciate each experience as it’s presented.

Throughout this process of learning to surrender to (and appreciate) each experience, I have come to learn many impactful lessons. Here are eleven of my most important—

  • Perfect doesn’t exist.
  • Progress can be painful.
  • Loss hurts.
  • Gain can be scary.
  • Faith is a must.
  • The most important relationship is the one I have with myself.
  • No accolades will ever grant me the validation and love that I seek.
  • Pain helps me see where I’m resisting truth.
  • Expectations are premeditated resentments.
  • I don’t need to win anyone’s love—I am the love that I seek.
  • No one gets to where they are without first starting where they did.

The details of each experience are not as important as the lessons I gained through them. Each difficulty built on the previous and served to break me open and teach me how to trust in life, and for this I am grateful.

Whether life conjures up delightful or difficult emotions, consider focusing your attention on what you’re receiving as a result. The idea is akin to focusing your attention on the people who show up in the midst of devastation to help. Doing so does not diminish the difficulty, but it certainly allows feelings of gratitude to envelop you regardless of circumstance.

To clearly see the gift in each experience, particularly when the experience isn’t quite what you want or expect, is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

Here’s to your greatness,

Misti Burmeister