Every season has its purpose. There’s a time for it all. A time to feel joy, a time to feel frustrated, a time to be carefree, and a time to be serious. There’s a necessary interval that takes place to teach us the most important lessons we can’t learn in a day. One message within a season may not be enough. We may be tested in multiple different ways and at the same time.

However, it’s certain we may run across a particular message that never ceases to make an appearance and serves as a constant reminder regardless of the years that go by. It’s a message that becomes the foundation of living day to day. One of the key building blocks of overcoming any season is gratitude.

There’s more emphasis on this practice during the holidays, but more and more people are starting to discover the essential value of making this action a priority every single day. The truth is, it’s not easy feeling grateful when you’re struggling. It’s not easy giving thanks when things could be better. It takes a huge shift in perspective to manipulate your mind against what it deems a negative experience.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.

Marcus Tulius Cicero

Suffering the loss of a loved one, losing your job at the most inopportune time, a mysterious diagnosis with no concrete answers; these are all negative experiences that would surely eliminate gratitude from any list of priorities. This also isn’t me trying to tell you that you should be grateful for these obstacles that have been placed in your way. The fact of the matter is, you can’t.

I feel like the majority of the time it’s not even the obstacle itself that we’re scared of, but rather what it means after it’s happened. The path we’ll be forced to blindly walk on because it’s filled with the unknown. For me, gratitude has taught me that the more I shift my focus on to this practice, the less time I have to conjure up the answer, “just because.” I refuse to believe that any season I go through is “just because.

There’s a necessary interval that takes place to teach us the most important lessons we can’t learn in a day.

There’s always more to my story and gratitude instills the purpose we’re all in desperate need of in any given situation. Our purpose is to evolve as individuals, to overcome adversity, and produce our own answers to the question why in a way that will strengthen us, not weaken. Giving thanks is a way to do that, but to do so, you have to broaden your understanding of where to find it.