How to feel grateful when life gets tough?

Here are two thought-exercises: 

Dwell on the wonders of life: Though life can be demanding, even devastating, it also features much beauty, artistry and sublimity. Consider the wonder of a blossoming flower that arises from nondescript soil. Consider the wonder of a rainbow that appears as a multicolor marvel on a canvas overhead. Consider the wonder of the night sky with countless twinkling stars, expanding farther than what we can imagine. The Bhagavad-gita (10.41) states that all such wondrous things manifest a spark of the Divine. Isn’t it difficult to contemplate such wonders while we are in acute distress? Yes, but if we have cultivated a habit of such contemplation, directing our thoughts toward these wonders can provide us strength, especially amid prolonged distresses. 

Dwell on the wonder that is life: Our very existence is a wonder in this danger-filled world. The wonders began with our conception: the sperm’s journey to the egg is itself so perilous that failure is the norm and success laudable exception. And only because many such miracles have continued throughout our life are we alive today. Millions of people die before they attain our age, however young we may be. If we are still alive, our story is not over yet. It might seem tragic right now, but the plot is still unfolding. Our journey is being directed by a wisdom far greater than ours (18.61). If we learn to play our part prayerfully, we will bear witness to how we are led to a better place (18.62). That’s a show in which we can have not just a front-row seat, but a star role — a role wherein we are guided by and toward the Supreme Star. Isn’t that a show worth watching, worth working in, worth waiting for? 

One-sentence summary:

When life becomes tough, cultivate gratitude by dwelling on the wonders of life and the wonder that is life.  

Think it over:

  • Which things in life inspire in you a sense of wonder?
  • How is life itself a wonder?
  • Look back at your life-journey to appreciate how your life is a wonder worth marveling. 


10.41: Know that all opulent, beautiful and glorious creations spring from but a spark of My splendor.

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Author: Chaitanya Charan

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  1. Thank you for wonderful explanation 💜

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    • Happy to be of service.

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