It’s the way we think.

And it changes the way we live.

For the next week, we will prepare to “be grateful.”

What if preparing for Thanksgiving is a jumping-off point for living life rooted more deeply in gratitude?

Sometimes, gratitude is easy. We look around our lives and see many things for which we are thankful.

However, sometimes gratitude isn’t easy.

We see our loss. Our pain.

Believe it or not, gratitude is a choice. And when we are willing to make a choice, our lives change.

Dr. Emiliana Emmoms writes gratitude is a critical cognitive process—a way of thinking about the world that can help us turn disaster into a stepping stone.

If we’re willing and able to look, we can find a reason to feel grateful.

Note – we must be willing to look. And able to see in, through, and past our anger, bitterness, resentment, and pain.

“Life is suffering. No amount of positive thinking exercises will change this truth,” writes Emmons in his Greater Good article “How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times.” He continues:

So telling people to buck up, count their blessings, and remember how much they still have to be grateful for can certainly do much harm. Processing a life experience through a grateful lens does not mean denying negativity. It is not a form of superficial happi-ology. Instead, it means realizing your power to transform an obstacle into an opportunity. It means reframing a loss into a potential gain and recasting negativity into positive channels for gratitude.

Let’s use this next week of Thanksgiving to be our jumping-off point for new depths of gratitude!

I’m grateful to each of you! Your unique contributions to West, our local community, and the world are game changers. Thank you.