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The word “grateful” is one that resonates with me. I learned many years ago that the more grateful I am, the happier I am. Being grateful leaves little room for complaining or finding fault. When I reside in a space of gratefulness, my heart is full, my mind is peaceful, and my body is at ease.

I remember the first time that I really began to understand the concept of gratefulness. I was in high school and I was reading the story of Anne Frank, a well-known Holocaust victim. Anne Frank hid with her family in the back room of her father’s business as Nazi’s hunted down Jewish families during World War II.

It was then that she began writing in her diary about the ordeal of the war and what was going on (as far as she could tell) from the tiny storage room, that concealed her family. Their hiding place was eventually discovered and they were taken prisoner. She and her sister were thrown into a concentration camp together. They were housed in filthy flea-infested conditions.

I recall reading that the guards would beat and abuse the women and girls terribly, but then suddenly, the guards stopped coming into the quarters to bother them. Anne wrote that they stopped because the fleas and stench of the area had become almost unbearable. It was then that Anne wrote, “in all things give thanks.”

This young girl saw the blessing in the terrible conditions and was quick to show how grateful she was for the reprieve from abuse. I thought that she must have read the same passages that I was taught in Sunday School. I Thessalonians 5:18a says “In everything give thanks”….

I’m not saying that you have to suffer to be grateful, but that we ought to look for moments and circumstances in which to be grateful and to exhibit gratitude.

I don’t know anyone who has not endured strife, struggle and grief, but staying in a fetal position won’t make you feel any better. Showing gratitude for whatever condition you find yourself in will help you to usher in strength and hope for a better tomorrow.

If you have a hard time getting negative thoughts out of your head, try keeping a gratitude journal. Write a sentence or two everyday about what you’re grateful for.

After some time, it will become easier to express an attitude of gratitude. You’ll also find that your mood will improve and your life will become brighter. You’ll begin to dream and set goals, and accomplish your goals.

Being grateful is a state of mind and is not predicated on how you feel in any given moment, but in how you purpose your heart and mind to accept and show gratitude for the many blessings in your life.

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