As we enter the holiday season, the discussions of “gratitude” and “thankfulness” are everywhere around us. The truth is that this may be a difficult season to hold onto gratitude. For some, gratitude may feel more like a mystical unicorn than a reality. In fact, the holidays are a time of year when we may feel more depressed, have more conflict with family, and are exposed to the pain of our past. This may be a time that highlights that pain and hurt.
It is very much OK to be in pain and to grieve. They are our mind’s way of telling us that we are hurt and need healing. It is important to acknowledge these feelings and experiences. We benefit from processing them in healthy ways. I encourage everyone to go on this journey. It is worth it.
Did you know that you can be both in pain and grateful at the same time? It’s true. We are far more complex than any one feeling or experience. We are made up of many experiences, thoughts, feelings, values, and beliefs. We are constantly living in a tug-of-war between these experiences and thoughts. Just because we are in pain doesn’t mean that gratitude stops existing as well. Our hurt and pain is only ever a percentage of who we are, but it may feel like 100% if it is getting 100% of our attention. Pausing to find gratitude in the midst of our pain can help us be a whole person.
Our gratitude is a weapon against pain and hurt. It directly confronts our wounds by redirecting us to our gifts. It cultivates a mindset of abundance in the midst of our pain and lack. Despite your circumstances, hurts, and losses, you have been blessed with things that give you meaning, purpose, and hope. These blessings are things unique to you, and they are gifts for which to be grateful. Maybe you have overlooked these things. Maybe the moments of pain have been shielding you from seeing and experiencing the goodness in your life. I challenge you to find something to be grateful for during this holiday season and beyond. If you would like help in your journey to discover gratitude, then please contact me at www.nathanaelreadmft.com or (530) 953-9363.
Nathanael Read, LMFT
448 Redcliff Drive, Suite 213
Redding, CA 96002
Nathanael Read, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, practicing in Redding, CA. He currently specializes in marriage therapy and couples counseling, working with couples in conflict or distress, and individual counseling for those affected by depression, anxiety, and trauma. His passion is to help clients DISCOVER HOPE in their lives. Contact Nathanael with questions or to set up your FREE 15 minute Consultation to learn how you may benefit from therapy today.