The first hundred times my various teachers uttered the words, “You must have gratitude for all that comes into your life”, I rolled my eyes and thought to myself, Yea, right.

And how am I supposed to have gratitude when my father is in the hospital about to have critical surgery. The tension between gathered family members is so thick, even in peaceful times, you can walk on it. Be thankful for some gift? Maybe I can volunteer for a root canal…Gratitude shmatitude, I mutter to myself.

Gratitude is a journey. Gratitude is living with a heart that is open in Love and appreciation and it is not something that just happens. It is work. It is effort. It is commitment. And, it is rewarding beyond imagination.

So how is there a gift of Love in the dog poop that was left on my carpet this morning?

You will struggle with happiness until you can realize that your purpose is to learn as much as you can about Love. And be thankful for it. Resist this concept and it’s like swimming against the current.

Embrace the tragedy and see Love. Embrace the trauma and see Love. Embrace the abusive relationships and see Love. Begin to see the gifts that are inherent in everything you attract into your life, for they are teaching you more about Love.

Embrace the poop and see Love?! Absolutely! The little brown offering reminded me of my dog’s beautiful sensitivity and her tendency to react when there’s dissonance in the household that needs to be healed.

Love shmove you might be thinking…I just stumbled on the curb outside of Starbucks and spilled my double caf latte on my favorite linen blouse on the way to work. Grrrrr…

Let’s shift to what gratitude is not. Gratitude is not denial of a situation. You may have a huge honking stain that everyone will notice, but maybe it’s the opportunity for humor that is just what your officemates need. “I know I’m not supposed to be drinking caffeine, do you think this is a little message from above?!” you state proudly with a smile as your colleagues giggle sympathetically bringing forth levity.

Seeing the gift in all things is not demeaning or disrespectful. Try not to feel guilty if you choose the higher path and see light where others see darkness. You are an alchemist and in truth, working magic!

Watch how the alchemical process unfolds…
Recall a moment in your life that really challenged you, a moment that perhaps defined you in some profound way. It could be a car accident, a diagnosis, or an incident of physical or emotional abuse.

Now take the memory of this moment and as you are comfortable, allow it to penetrate your thoughts. Notice how it makes you feel emotionally, physically and spiritually. Notice everything.

Now take this same moment and recall at least one positive aspect, even if it’s as seemingly trivial as “it was a beautiful day when I was diagnosed with cancer”. Bring the vision and feeling of this memory into consciousness and breathe in its reality. In our example, let the heartbreaking words from the doctor gently slip out of the way and soak in the memory of the clear blue sky and the golden light of the sun.

Allow yourself only to think this one positive thought giving it more and more power with each breath. Allow yourself to recognize and feel gratitude. It may be hard work, but continue to breathe until the darkness of the situation has lifted. Again, notice how you feel... notice the power of gratitude’s magic healing elixir!

Gratitude shmatitude – it’s what’s for Life!

By the way, my brothers and I snuck out for dinner to be alone together for the first time in decades while my father was hooked up to machines in the hospital. We thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company and my father was thrilled to know we’d reconnected. Who would have thought?

Author's Bio: 

Rev. Nina Roe, certified by Doreen Virtue as an Angel Therapy Practitioner®, is an Indigo Family Coach, intuitive holistic healer, Minister of Spiritual Peacemaking and Founder of, and Contact: 508-208-1702 or