Gratitude Stories: Living through the lens of gratitude

Illustration of a digital camera
Submitted by Jabrilla Carr

Back in 2018, a long-time friend sent me a small card that contained a handwritten note expressing her gratitude for our friendship. As much as I felt the note was beautiful and special, I also found it to be very intriguing. I had been reading and hearing people “rant and rave” about the benefits of incorporating a gratitude practice, but didn’t understand how it could work for me. But alas, here was a real-life example of someone that I knew personally, practicing gratitude and even using it to impact others. Could there, in fact, be something transformational about this art of practicing gratitude?

Months later, my cousin bought me a gratitude journal for Christmas. At this point, I had begun to practice gratitude on an occasional basis, but this journal solidified a sustainable and enjoyable way for me to do so daily, and not just when I felt happy about something. Initially, it was hard. I struggled with thinking of something “special enough” to write down because I wanted my entries to be as well-written and heartfelt as the note I had received from my friend. But I slowly came to understand that this practice wasn’t about finding the perfect words, but rather it was about retraining my mind to take a look at the ordinary and find something extraordinary. My mindset and mood began to change. Thoughts of courage, hope, and belief began to inhabit my mind. Although I was a busy body, oftentimes stretching myself thin in the name of people-pleasing, my gratitude practice always brought new perspectives and moments of stillness, which eventually led to significant transformations in my life.

In February 2020, I found the Gratitude app and have used it consistently since then. As the year progressed, I found it incredibly helpful to be able to look back on my entries and see my life through the lens of gratitude. Through this lens, I now recognize the magic and beauty that are already present in my life. I am more at ease every day. Through this lens, the impossibilities fade away and I can affirm the possibilities that will come forth. I see abundance all around me and I know I can truly do anything!

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