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Finding light and love in a season of darkness

The past few years have been a season of tests. We've tested our faith, our beliefs, our ability to balance what is important in our lives. We've done all of this and we've struggled to be successful in what feels like so many things. 

We know our faith will always be tested, but this is a truly remarkable series of events that have pushed many of us to the brink. It's even harder for those of us trying to find a relationship. 

In case there was any confusion, social distancing is the antithesis of what most of us would consider normal dating. 

Amidst all of this change, confusion and darkness, there are still things to be thankful for, and there are still rich and full paths forward for each of us in this life. While these are very hard to see at times, it's important to consider our blessings on a regular basis - not just to thank our creator (never hurts), but also to bring significant peace to our own mind.

How can this be achieved? Through a practice of consistent gratitude. 

According to this article from Harvard Medical School, "in positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships."

Gratitude can bring us happiness and light in times of darkness and stress. Sounds great, right? How do you make this part of your routine and reap the benefits of gratitude?

Three good things

Three good things (I am shamelessly borrowing content from this article) is a daily practice of reflection and gratitude that helps create a daily practice of gratitude. Each day for a week, write down three things that went well for you today, with some detail of why they went well. Focus your thinking on the positive feelings that came with the event, and keep at it. 

It'll feel a bit strange at first (I know from experience), but it does get easier and more natural. Follow it up with a prayer each time, and you will soon find yourself more relaxed. More mindful. More positive and a whole lot more peaceful. 

You'll find a calm, peaceful corner of a world that may not be as crazy as it always seems. 

Going forward...

Even though we are (thankfully) starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel, it's important to recognize that we've all changed. Many of us have lost loved ones. All of us have lost time - with each other, with our family and friends, following our passions and purposes in life. 

Even though that is true, there are still immeasurable things to be thankful for each day, and god lives in each of those small moments. Even in the unprecedented storm that is COVID and the wreckage that was our former lives, there are warm beams of sunlight. Green shoots taking root. New beginnings unfolding. 

So, make gratitude a daily practice, and open your arms to new beginnings. Chances are there is a person waiting to meet you when you do. 


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