Don’t Take Life For Granted: How To Find Appreciation Through Loss

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butterfly on flower
butterfly on flower

AFFIRMATION: I look for one thing to be grateful for every day.

Life is filled with ups and downs and sometimes it’s difficult to find happiness. Everyone experiences challenges. But I’ve found when I accept what is and lower my resistance, instead of fighting against it, I can move through these changes with greater ease. And finding appreciation for the little things makes it easier.

“We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.” — Joseph Campbell

Like many of you, I’ve been through devastating losses. My husband unexpectedly died and then just three weeks a fire broke out in our home forcing my daughter and I to relocate while it was being built.

Appreciation For The Little Things

I started to realize I had taken so much of life for granted. Sometimes it takes an unimaginable loss to appreciate what we already have. This difficult time brought an important lesson—how to be grateful for the ordinary moments. These are where some of our most cherished memories live, like walking on the beach, watching a sunset, or baking cookies with our kids.

Wanting to feel some likeness to my prior self and to heal my heart, I intentionally looked for simple things that would bring me joy and appreciation, such as a song on the radio, a cup of tea, or a butterfly. Even if it was just for a moment, I embraced it.

It took time, but with patience and practice, small flashes of happiness started to appear. The easiest path for me was to look to nature—such as the sun rising or a bird singing—to find joy. And the more I noticed these wonders the more they appeared. These experiences led me to appreciate life and I’m forever grateful for this simple, yet very profound teaching.

Below are some of the ways I found to help me to rediscover appreciation through times of loss or challenges. Only take what resonates with you and leave the rest. Also, don’t give yourself a timeline on when you should feel better. It’s different for every loss. Be kind and allow yourself time to heal. If you need help, ask a trusted friend, family member, or a medical professional. My therapist helped me to process my grief emotions. Seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength.

Ways To Practice Gratitude

Focus on your blessings.

Show the people in your life how much you value them.

Appreciate the simple things, like drinking your morning coffee.

Create a gratitude journal.

Look at nature for inspiration.

Be thankful for your body and your breathe.

Give thanks to everyone that helps you.

Send thank you cards or texts.

Be grateful for waking up this morning.

Count your blessings.

Savor the good.

Embrace the ordinary moments because they can be the most treasured. And show appreciation for the people in your life. Be grateful for what you already have. When you are, you receive more of it. Gratitude eventually led me to joy, and in time, it can for you too.

Photo by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash

Unforgettable: Remembering Don

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