The Gratitude Journal


There’s a time in my life I don’t revisit much. It happened. It’s over. Move along. Lately though, I’ve noticed how many gems I carry with me in my pockets because of that time. These gems were tumbled in heartbreak, betrayal and relationship addiction, but are now shiny and smooth and…really important. And though I wouldn’t wish that time or those feelings on my worst enemy, I am grateful for the experience because it taught me some great stuff. One of the best of these was a Gratitude Journal.

At the worst of this time, when I was putting one foot in front of another plodding through repetitive heartbreak and manipulation…I read a great book.  It was called, “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach .

The book was so beautiful and simple and it helped me to remember that during tough stuff, you can find simple things to be grateful for.

Her recommendation was to start a Gratitude Journal – and write down 3 things that you were grateful for in your life. So, day after day for a while here is what I wrote…every day…

  • A roof over my head.

  • Food in my refrigerator.

  • Friends and family who love me.

What is so funny about this to me is that now, I could fill a book on a daily basis of the things I am grateful for…heck I’m grateful for EVERYTHING now.

But it started here…with these three things and these were all I could think of at the time.  I remember my friend Antay said after I whined to him for the millionth time about my desire to have all of these remaining feelings just to GO.AWAY. He wisely said, “You can’t tip the bucket of love over Sarah; you have to let it slowly evaporate.”

So as I climbed out of the pit, I would write my three things down. And soon, it turned into 5 things and they were new and different. And after that, they became too countless to write…

Gratitude is a powerful healer. It puts you in the position of seeing all things good and bad as opportunity. It grants hope. It changes your goggles from the inside out. All of a sudden, I started being thankful for the sunrise, for the rain tapping on the cars outside of my apartment window, for a walk around a lake, for a job, for people who enriched my life, and for CHALLENGES. Because it is within challenges that we grow…especially if we can stay grateful for them. I am even grateful for the heartache…

The Gratitude Journal is a simple tool, but a lifechanging one. Give it a go. And when you’re in the midst of your life and you are pissed off, frustrated, stressed, or in pain – take a deep breath (or 5) and think of 3 things in that situation that you can be thankful for.  Then, keep doing it.

May your gems shine.