It was hard to wrap my mind around this nugget of wisdom when I first came across it. Even though Maya Angelou said it to Oprah, more or less.
Here’s how it came to make sense to me:
We often look back at a difficult experience and are capable of seeing the good that might have come from the experience. The lemonade part, right?
From a logical standpoint, the sooner we welcome an experience as a gift, we start feeling like this is all part of a plan and therefore under control–the mindset that everything is going to work out alright in the end. This calms us down. This opens us up to clarity. We can think more clearly, feel more clearly. It’s like the situation already has been resolved.*
From a spiritual standpoint, gratitude puts us very deeply into the space that you already have what you so badly want. It’s a key aspect to attracting what you want to manifest in your life.
It is easier to employ this technique for the more typical trials and tribulations — like when someone has just shouted something rude out their car window in the parking lot. Or even for the difficulties more typical of the human experience — like the angst of trying to figure out your calling in life. I admit that I even went a bit in this direction when my daughter was born without the gift of breath, trusting that it was all part of The Plan.
But if you can even use it in just the smallest ways–when you have a spat, when your wifi doesn’t connect, when you get stuck in traffic–your life will feel better and lighter.
*Speaking of which, when my youngest was young, I often would pray for an immediate smooth and easy resolution to the situation at hand. Just such a resolution quickly would reveal itself. Thank you, thank you, thank you!