I love that there is a whole holiday about gratitude.

I have been starting my mornings by writing down all that I am grateful for in my life and the list is long. I have been very blessed, no doubt about it.

And yet it’s not always all love and light is it?

During the holiday season, my heart goes out to those who have suffered losses, are struggling and don’t have a picture post card (or social media worthy) experience.

We all struggle at times, but it seems worse when we are ‘supposed’ to be enjoying a blissful family gathering full of abundance and joy and we aren’t- for all the painful and sticky reasons why we don’t.

Lately I have been feeling grateful for how the tough times have also shaped me. Suffering, loss and pain have opened my heart even more, smoothed out some of the rough edges in me and softened me, keeping me open, humble and kinder.

We can’t control the roller coaster nature of life. Things wax and wane and everything changes- it’s the nature of life. But I can choose whether I let those things close my heart and make me bitter or open me to more love, compassion and humility.

I choose love, humility and kindness and today that is what I am grateful for.