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People in recovery are encouraged to make gratitude part of their daily life. Whether they are keeping a gratitude journal or incorporating acts of gratitude into their daily, the attitude of gratitude becomes an important part of recovery. For those who are in the treatment or early stages of recovery, gratitude might not come easily. What typically brings us to recovery from our trauma and related trauma issues is immense pain, as well as desperation. We can be grateful that we are finally healing, but we are less than grateful for all of our pain and suffering.

In “What Does It Mean to Be Grateful?” Elaine Smookler asks just that question, calling to the reader’s attention common misconceptions of what gratitude means. Gratitude can sometimes be mistaken for spiritual bypassing, which is when someone takes the position that everything is great in order to avoid or ignore the fact that everything is not great, but that’s okay.

“Thankfully,” Smookler writes, “it doesn’t mean convincing yourself of some bogus nothing that everything’s fine and dandy. Living your life with gratitude means choosing to focus your time and attention on what you appreciate.” Smookler explains that gratitude is not a pair of blinders you put on at will to block out the bad in life. Rather, gratitude is a tool for being able to approach all of life’s difficulties “from a different perspective.” Gratitude softens the roughest edges, calms the most excited nerves, and helps us reconnect to the wild mystery of being a human being on planet earth. Experiencing trauma often means experiencing some of the worst life on earth has to offer us. However, we can find gratitude for the fact that everything doesn’t have to be okay all the time, even when it seems terrible all the time, because life is about balance.

This Too Shall Pass

With the bad comes the good and with the good comes the bad. Gratitude helps us appreciate the presence of both in our lives by taking time to focus on the little wonders of all of life’s experiences. As we become stronger in our recovery, we become more resilient, gaining strength in our ability to find gratitude for our new lives on the journey to healing.

Everyone has a story. At The Guest House Ocala, we welcome every guest with open arms, embracing their past, acknowledging their present, and helping them prepare for a beautiful future. Call us today for information on our residential treatment programs for trauma, addiction, and related issues: 1-855-483-7800