How Can I Be Grateful at a Time Like This?

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How far you have come. Look at you. Drenched in the experience of everything that has come and gone. It is preposterous to still be here, but you are. To exist in this world is absurd. And yet, here you are. It is mind-bending to even be here. To choose to be here. Every day, when you wake up, understand this. Understand the achievement of being. We don’t do this enough. We don’t highlight the accomplishment of living. Because it is difficult. No one could argue otherwise. And still, you show up every day, ready to start again, ready to live.

On days when the burden is heaviest, it is hard to find gratitude. How can we be grateful when there is so much suffering in the world? It almost feels dishonest, disrespectful to be grateful sometimes. How can I be grateful for the good times I’m having when so many others suffer, die. The world twists itself, and in turn twists us, into cynical pessimism. We look upon others, not with joy for their success, but rather resentment, disdain because they are doing something. We become a reflection of the world we inhabit.

I understand. And when I don’t, I try to. If we need to be grateful, but don’t feel good about being grateful for the good things right now, then what? What do we do? I try to be grateful, in moments like these, for the shit parts of life. If I’m feeling sad, rejected, defeated, I try to be grateful for these feelings. Because at least I’m feeling something. And to feel is to be alive. There were so many years when I was depressed that I couldn’t feel anything. Stripped of what it means to be human, I couldn’t feel at all. So now, even when the feeling is bad, I try to be grateful, because it means I’m still here, in spite of it all, I’m alive. And that’s fucking beautiful.

So, if the world feels heavy right now, find gratitude in being able to feel that weight. Because it means you’re alive. It means you can feel, that you care, that you have the capacity for empathy. And that’s nothing to take for granted. That is everything.

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