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Cultivating Gratitude When You Feel Like Crap

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas and Hanukkah are upon us. It's the time of year when we are supposed to think of others, our families and enjoy our lives. Even with all of the terrible things happening in the United States, we all still have so much to be grateful for. Ugh, it was really hard for me to write that and I think this idea of gratitude can be hard for people to hear at times. It's easy to be grateful when things are going well, to think of all you have and be thankful. But it's not so easy when the shit hits the fan.

My yoga teacher gave me a long lesson on gratitude, talking about how it is the best way to improve the quality of life and to be present. She gave an example of being grateful for pain because without it she would have no empathy. It was an idea that I liked the sound of, but not one I could so easily put into practice. Especially with the pregnancy hormones turning me into a hateful bitch monster coupled with my fears and anxieties about the baby surviving. How can I be grateful? I keep asking myself that question, at first it was easy to think of things, like my husband and his love and support. I'm grateful I married someone so kind and caring. I'm grateful we got pregnant so easily. I'm grateful my friends and family are all around me giving me love. La la la la la la. Then my real feelings start rearing up their ugly heads.

RELATED: Fostering an Attitude of Gratitude

Trigger alert: If you are pregnant you may find yourself relating and getting annoyed once more at your partner, friends and family.

It's hard to find the gratitude when I'm either in a state of annoyance or crippled by fear and uncertainty.

My husband's great, but why does he have to eat food where I can hear him chewing it? Why does he smell weird right now? Has he been eating garlic? What is up with that breath? Why is the Christmas tree crooked? Dad, I know I'm overweight and could get gestational diabetes but just shut up, I want that donut. Plus, my doctor told me that is not even how gestational diabetes works, you don't get it from eating sugar. Mom, why are you baking that nasty Tyler pudding dessert? No one is going to eat it. Hey, Sis, why do you have to be so thin and gorgeous? You're a bitch! My darling niece, could you please stop coughing? Yo, Bro, take your kid to the doctor so she'll stop coughing. Hey, friend, I know you mean well but just because you drank coffee when you were pregnant and everything was fine does not mean I'm going to drink it. I lost my first baby—of course, I'm all freaked out. Why is the dog barfing on the rug? Why am I the only one here to clean it up? Yes, my loving husband, I FARTED. It was me. No need to ask when it's just the two of us in the car.

It's hard to find the gratitude when I'm either in a state of annoyance or crippled by fear and uncertainty. But I have to try, not just for myself but for the well being of my baby. Breathe and soften says the calm voice of my yoga teacher. Be sweet to yourself. Find the tiny seed of gratitude and write down three things a day for which you are grateful. So here are mine for today. You can write down yours after you finishing reading.

1. The other night an acquaintance messaged me and told me she loved reading these Conception Diaries and that she was going through the pain of trying again after a miscarriage. We chatted for awhile online and it felt so good to connect with her and be able to offer support as well as receive it and I'm grateful.

RELATED: 9 Things No One Told Me About Pregnancy

2. The woman that does reiki on me stopped my jaw pain that I have been having for months. I am actually a little freaked out by that but still, very grateful.

3. When the dog threw up on my husband and I was sitting next him on the couch, his main concern was getting up before I could see it or smell it. He succeeded and I am grateful.

Hmm, that was not as hard as I thought. I feel like I could write some more! Who's with me? Let me know what you're grateful for and don't be afraid to tell the world. This holiday season let's get grateful together.

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