What do you see as you look at the word “THANKFUL”? Do you have visions of happy family gathered ’round a Thanksgiving table or a divided unhappy family? What we see is very often funneled through our history, our outlook and our present circumstances. When that history, outlook and circumstance is rosy and bright, it is not hard to see a Hallmark card vision.

However, when times are not so rosy, how is it possible to feel a sense of gratitude and thankfulness? Maybe you are grieving a recent loss or going through a divorce. Perhaps you’ve just been laid off or heard bad news about your health. You might be struggling with issues of aging or trying to find yourself in retirement. Maybe at the moment all you see is that place of being stuck, alone and sad.

If you’ve ever had the experience of driving through fog, you know that in order to see the road ahead, you have to look at what’s right in front of you. Any vision longer than that and the road will disappear. When we travel through hard times or times of difficult transitions, we need to adjust our vision in much the same way.

Look at what’s directly in front of you. Can you focus on just one thing that you can be grateful for? It might be a friend, or maybe a stranger reaching out to you. Some music or art or natural beauty may lift your soul. A random act of kindness, either given or received might warm your heart or make you smile. What else can you think of?

Giving thanks for small things can really add up. As we approach the holiday of Thanksgiving, I invite you to look inside yourself and around yourself to find your own special place of thankfulness. Whatever that is, may it be a stepping stone to the fog lifting and your being able to nurture and grow your gratitude, one blessing at a time.