Fighting for Gratitude


Gratitude has not come easy to me today. You have no idea how much I would love to have woken up this morning completely and totally happy and grateful and smiling. But. I didn’t. I woke up to a quiet, empty house. Sort of sad. Sort of lonely. Peaceful. Totally peaceful. But sort of just… not feeling festive and holiday-ish. I made my coffee, puttered around the kitchen. Fed the dog. Watched a little Scandal and DID give thanks that I don’t have Olivia Pope’s problems. Damn. Those are some big, big problems. All the while trying not to feel what I still feel so often: Broken.

And so I cried. And cried. And cried some more. I let myself feel the ugly, crappy, familiarity of it all. I talked to a few people who really love me so much– and I hated to be the downer in the conversation– because that’s not a role I enjoy. Ever. But they each reminded me of this: I am totally loved. I am totally supported. There is so much right even though sometimes it feels like there is still so much wrong. And that we are all broken in some way or another.

The tide comes in. The tide goes out.  And on holidays especially, it can feel like the tide always comes in. Good news though: It will go out again.



So if this is you at all today– if you, like me, are struggling with grief of any kind, it’s okay. It’s okay to feel whatever it is you’re feeling.  Allow yourself the chance to feel it and process it and find what’s true in it and what’s not. And then, use whatever self-care techniques work for you– and out of self-love, decide to bounce back. Because it IS a holiday, and despite not everything being exactly the way you’d like, there is still a lot of goodness. Tons. Tons and tons of goodness. So get up. Get dressed. Work out. Turn on happier music. Set a timer for 3 minutes and write down a rampage of everything you have to be grateful for. Pray. Meditate. Read something good.  Watch Scandal. Call or text the people you love and tell them so. It helps and it works and I’m doing it.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear reader. I’m thankful for you.


3 thoughts on “Fighting for Gratitude

  1. Mike Lafferty says:

    Wow. That made my gut hurt for you, Julie. I pray your prayers are answered soon and often, and that the life you desire comes rolling in on the next tide, swamping your life’s beach! I have decided I’m going to pray for you often. Although I don’t know you well, your writings let me know you a little better, and I would like to be considered your friend. God bless you today, tomorrow, and whenever you need Him.


    • Thanks for being so kind Mike– It’s so interesting the different responses I’ve received from posting this blog. Although this may sound contradictory, I didn’t write or post that out of despair– just out of the true space my head and heart was in that morning and the things I was doing to help myself turn it around. And I’ve realized that any time I’m feeling something, someone else out there is feeling it too. And writing about it and reading about it makes everyone feel less alone in this life. Grief and brokenness are principal parts of being human and when we commune with others over our brokenness, rather than our shared beliefs or superficial accounts of how well everything is going, that’s when true fellowship and connection happens. When you said you hope my prayers are answered “soon and often”… it’s funny– It really made me think. Because there’s literally nothing I’m hoping or praying for right now. And I mean that in the best sense. It’s a very peaceful place to be. Life just is what it is– in a good way. And the acceptance of that is so peaceful. But having said all that… thanks for praying– I believe in prayer and appreciate it. And thanks for being a reader and a friend.


      • Mike Lafferty says:

        Well then, let me say that I believe you have a rare gift, “transparency”. Not wearing a mask, and being so real to others is an uncommon trait. Too many of us wear a mask, and that mask we wear to keep others from seeing us, keeps us from seeing God. There is healing in your words, and I appreciate what you share. May God answer your next heart felt prayer swiftly, and with extras thrown in!


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