{Gratitude and Light} Monica

I have been thinking a lot about my last post and and the things that Kim taught all of us about being grateful for our imperfections.  Did you notice at the end she used the word “choose” 3 times?!  Gratitude is a choice, my friends.  We can choose it every single day.

Today’s guest post aligns so beautifully with what Kim said, it’s like it’s meant to be.

“Life is about progress, not perfection.”  These words are what Monica, over at About Progress, represents, teaches and embraces.  She shares her heart on her Instagram feed (@aboutprogress) and you can feel of her goodness in every podcast as she interviews incredible people who live by her same mission statement!  Her thoughts today on gratitude are full of hope.

“I am grateful for my past.

Depression, eating disorders, anxiety, broken hearts, disappointments, loss of faith, suicidal leanings, intense stresses, self-hatred, crippling apathy, and more.  I am grateful for these struggles.  All of them.

In ways I never expected.  To a depth I didn’t understand.  These struggles have prepared me for others that have followed, they have instilled greater empathy and love for others, they have humbled me, and most importantly, they have ultimately strengthened me.  

I hate the idea of what Monica-without-trials would have been like.  

While I don’t wish to face my hardships again, I can absolutely be grateful for them and how they’ve made me better in the end.  And that insight gives me the courage to better face the ones I have now.”

-Monica, of About Progress

Did you ever think gratitude could give you courage?!  I love that idea!  Gratitude for our past- with all the imperfections it may hold- can give us courage to face our future!  What a beautiful concept!!

But you may be thinking, That’s great for Monica- but there’s no way I could ever feel grateful for my past and all the hardships I’ve endured.

Here’s some advice on how you can start on your own path to feeling gratitude for your past- including your most difficult challenges.

“We must ask in prayer that God, by the power of the Holy Ghost, will help us see our blessings clearly even in the midst of our trials. He can help us by the power of the Spirit to recognize and be grateful for blessings we take for granted. What has helped me the most is to ask God in prayer, “Wouldst Thou please direct me to someone I can help for Thee?” It is in helping God bless others that I have seen my own blessings more closely.”

-Henry B. Eyring

As we reflect on our past, and every difficult thing we’ve endured, may we pray for that gratitude that will help us see more clearly our blessings, and be granted the courage to face the challenges we have now, and in our future.  If you can’t seem to see your blessings, look outward.  Try to find someone in need and ask God how you can help them.  I know that as I’ve done this, it acts as a light that then shines brighter for me to see my own blessings.

“We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude.”

-Thomas S. Monson

Thank you, Monica, for being vulnerable and showing us that even through hardships, we can come out stronger and face the future with courage!  I take great hope in your example and outlook!

You can find more from Monica at her blog, About Progress and on Instagram @aboutprogress