Gratitude to the Negative Events in Life

Gratitude for Negative Situations

We begin this second part of gratitude practice by reviewing what we did in the first.

Continuing with Exercise Six, from At Your Heart’s Pace, you are asked to consider carrying out a deeper stance of gratitude. Each day, choose one negative situation from your past, in your life now, and practice being grateful that it happened or that it is happening.

At no point can we hold the whole of our lives in our awareness. We cannot know what any event will mean in our life. We cannot know that what appears to be negative today, what appears to be catastrophic today will eventually turn out to be. It could be a catalyst for a great blessing, a great teaching, a profound growth.

You are asked to gently look into the negative situations in your life and attempt to find something for which you can be grateful. Use the releasing tools when you encounter resistance. If you get stuck, remind yourself what your spiritual intentions are, what your spiritual goals are. Unconditional love, for example, can have no negatives within it, by its very definition.

Peace to you.

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Hello It’s Ellen Sutherland
Here we are again…being spiritual.

I thought we would take gratitude to another level, a deeper level, a more unconditional level, if you like from the one we initially played with. Remember in our first practice of gratitude, we simply looked at it, made a list and our focus was to experience what happens when we become grateful for all that we have in our life. It brings up such a lot of happiness, a kind of contentment and that it is a wonderful practice. As we practice it, we become more and more focused on gratitude in our lives, and less and less on whatever it was we focused on before did our gratitude practice.

Now we take it today to another level, to the unconditional level. How could we be grateful for things which have caused us or are causing us pain? This is the second part of the exercise in my book “At Your Heart’s Pace,” that we took the first gratitude practice from. This is from Exercise Six. I thought we could just carry on (from where we left off last time.)

The intention of this practice is to discover where you hold blocks to gratitude, where you resist doing it and hopefully to release them, if you so choose.

May this be for the Highest Good.

We have set aside an area in our journal notes to make a list of every person and thing for which we feel grateful, sincerely feel grateful. I am going to read now from the exercise in the book.

When initially practicing gratitude you will used those things from people and situations for which you easily and spontaneously feel thankful. Each day I am encouraging you to add to your list and keep your journal with you so that if you discover five one day, you may be able to discover six the next. And on and on it goes.

Once you are comfortable with finding and seeking opportunities to express gratitude and that may take some time. It is a practice, it is a new way of seeing perhaps for some of you. Some of you may have been grateful for the very peak times in your lives and we are talking about looking around and really realizing your abundance and being grateful for that.

Once you are comfortable seeing that way, you take a few moments every day to choose a negative event or situation and play with being willing to express gratitude for what it is offering you. You may not know what it is offering you yet, or you may have already realize it. If I hadn’t had that really tough relationship with the first husband, I wouldn’t know what I do now with the second profound relationship, for example. So that is a biggie. If such and such hadn’t happened…there as so many events in our life that feel cataclysmic when they happen or feel just awful. You think ugh but there is always something in those events to find and be grateful for.

We can’t hold the whole of our lives in our awareness. We don’t know, we don’t know…we just don’t know. Mostly we don’t know that we don’t know. We don’t know what is good for us – what will grow us and so pick one of those; pick one of those situations and see if you can find a little place in you where you can open to being grateful for the experience.

Always ask for higher help and if you are feeling resistance, it is helpful to remember to ask, “Why am I on a spiritual path, in a spiritual life. Why am I attempting to be spiritual all the time? That is a very helpful question to ask yourself when you feel resistant finding gratitude in a difficult situation or in a situation that you thought was a catastrophe.

So, ask for higher help, from your guides or God, Jesus, Buddha…however you do that…from your Teacher. Ask for higher help and attempt the exercise once again. You can use a releasing tool. I have a number of tools in my book that release resistance.

While reading a newspaper, while listening to negative news, extend the feeling of gratitude for that. Again, that is a deeper way of holding gratitude. You have no idea what this world event or what this negative news will bring to that person or into your life. You have no idea what good it will bring, so you send it love.

The great avatars all said the same thing. Jesus said love your enemies. Anything negative in your life can be considered to be an enemy, for example.

So my dears that is how you can hold this deeper stance of gratitude and you are asking a lot of yourself. You are asking yourself to stand back from those areas in your life that you have held as wounds or as negativity. You are asking yourself to stand away from them and say, “What good can I find in here? What can I be grateful for in this situation?” It is a wonderful practice. It adds light to the little dark shadows you are still hanging onto and it allows you to move towards unconditional peace and being spiritual.

Peace to you.

About ellen

Ellen Sutherland shares her work through her sites:, and her book: "At Your Heart's Pace",
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