(photo by Raj Vaishnaw)

If you draw breath, you have something to be thankful for. No matter what struggles you have in your life, if you’re still above ground, that means you have skin in the game. You still have choices, options, possibilities, paths yet to take, goals, desires, hopes and dreams, ripples to make in the water. No matter how hard your life might be, someone else had it tougher and still manages to find something to smile about.

Seriously. If you’ve been feeling sorry for yourself for any reason, take a step back and find something to be grateful for. Suffering is real. Illness and struggle right behind it. But you can choose to focus on something good, even if it’s for someone else. You can find gratitude for something every day.

Here in the U.S., we have a national holiday to remind us to be thankful. Religious holidays remind us to get our heads on straight and wake up to the fact that life isn’t all about money or what it can buy. Yes, there are a lot folks who would disagree, but those who have someone to love them manage to keep going.

When we leave this life, we take nothing tangible with us.

So, where does your gratitude lie?

Is it with your family, your pets, your friends, your health, your job, your bills paid, your home, your wits, your humor, your stuff, your aptitude, or your skills? The list is limitless.

If you haven’t smiled in a long time, find a way to. Smiling and laughter rewires your brain to be healthier. You can make that choice, to see things in a new perspective. Even if you were raised only to see the dark side of all things first, so you were never disappointed. You make your own choices now. Choose gratitude at some point every day. Not just Thanksgiving Day.

Need something? Be thankful for the ability to change your mind and make a different choice. You can change your outlook. If I can, you can.