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Life Begins When We Learn the Meaning of Gratitude

By Lynn Clare November 02, 2023 Mindset

We’ve all heard it many times and many different ways during our lives. Count your blessings, give thanks, feel lucky for what you have, think of people who don’t have as much. We understand the words, but seldom do we stop to think what they really mean.

Do We Understand Gratitude?

I’m not sure exactly when it occurred to me, but one day, I began to really understand what it means to be truly grateful. Not just for the good that happens in our life but for everything.

When I started looking at my life in a new way it was very revealing. As much as I thought I had been a grateful person, I realized I had been taking a lot for granted. Not just the big things, but all of the small, seeming insignificant things that make up my life.

I started focusing on very specific parts of my life to appreciate, like my morning cup of coffee. I wondered, what did it take for me to enjoy that simple pleasure? It had to be grown, picked, processed, distributed etc. by others who made it possible for me to sit at my kitchen table with little to no effort on my part.

Pouring a glass of clean water, sleeping in a comfortable bed, turning on the lights – the list goes on forever. There is so much to appreciate and be grateful for.

What About When Things Go Wrong?

The big shift occurred for me when I began to see problems as opportunities. Something that would have upset me in the past, like an issue at work or something going wrong with my vehicle, became a challenge for me to find the best in the situation.

This was when I had to be more general and not so specific. I was happy to have a job or a car, I felt fortunate to have the resources and ability to figure it out. Everything became a game to try to find the best possible way of looking at an otherwise uncomfortable situation.

How It Has Worked Out for Me

I applied this philosophy to everything I could think of. If it was a good experience, I thought about how much I appreciated having it. When it didn’t feel so good, I thought about how grateful I was for the lesson and what positive aspects I could take from it.

In the beginning, it was a little difficult to always find the silver lining but with practice it became easier. I’ve learned that even when I slip back into my old habits, I can quickly recover by simply remembering all that I have to be grateful for.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What things are you most grateful for? How does being grateful affect your life? Share your stories and join the conversation.

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Thank you Im grateful for your comments. Since being menopausal Im finding myself more worried, and less joyful in the things that Ive been grateful for being able to enjoy and do such as bike riding, kayaking , etc. I’m going to start jounaling in hoping it will bring back the spark in me to truly enjoy and be grateful again for my health and strenght to do the activities that Im grateful for that brings me pure joy.


I keep a gratitude journal and write in it daily. The majority of entries are things such as “setting sun on the tree tops” or “ the pleasant clerk at the store today”. Then the big ones……..” you are cancer free”!!


Thank you for mentioning journaling it might be what I need to rekindle my spark for life’s gratitude again.


I wake up grateful for every day as I have survived for 17 years beyond a serious cancer diagnosis. Even if it’s a difficult day I just think well at least I’m still here.


Amen to this. I’m typically very grateful for so many things and have found myself recently not practicing gratitude as I have in the past. I loved and needed this article today. Thank you thank you thank you!


I agree! Amen! Same here. I practice gratitude and found I wasn’t practicing as often as I have in the past. Thank you for this beautiful reminder.


Hi Leslie, I appreciate your kind words and am pleased that you enjoyed the article!

The Author

Lynn Clare is a freelance writer living in Denver, Colorado. She is an avid traveler and loves writing about her adventures for women who travel solo at

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