As a person that makes part of her living while living on the internet, it seems like lately there has been a lot of negativity surrounding current events. It is easy to get swept up in it and involved or just turn it all off. I find the best way for me to cope with pretty much anything going on, whether it is personal issues, issues outside of my immediate life that still affect me or just a general vibe going on is to shift my focus back to gratitude. It is such a powerful tool.

Shifting back to gratitude takes continual effort and with practice you can see yourself progress. Let’s think about progress for a moment. At one time people lived without electricity and automobiles. There were few machines to take the strain out of labor. Higher education was a rarity. And communication between one another was limited and slow. All that, and much more, has changed a great deal. As we progress from year to year we also experience social change. Social change has meaning when we realize we have built our strengths based upon a wisdom and goodwill inherent in mankind.

I believe most people really are good. We as a people have many more similarities with one another than we have differences. We all want the same basic rights and opportunities to be secure and happy. As our ancestors made great events happen, we also are empowered to bring about change for the better. The holidays are a great time to acknowledge our potential and express our gratitude, and think about ways to improve the world.

Some people think the world is becoming a worse place than it once was. If they express that view to you, ask them what they are doing to improve it. If they say they cannot do anything about it, one of the reasons they feel that way is because they fail to experience gratitude. They are dis-empowering themselves. Let’s keep the focus on all the good in the world while still tenderly acknowledging the tragic and unfortunate events. We not only reap what we sow, we mostly receive what we expect. We learn best, and enjoy the process, when we approach our tasks with determination rooted in gratitude. The power of positive affirmations drives humanity forward.

Repeat after me: “I love and approve of myself. I am grateful for the person I am. I am grateful for today.” Saying that out loud in front of a mirror even has a powerful effect. It is hard to take care of others if you do not love and approve of yourself first. Today, I want you to be grateful first for you. Life can be messy. Being a person some days can be really hard but it is also OK to be happy, grateful, thankful, and to enjoy your blessings while also working to better your life and at the same time, help others.

Here is another affirmation: “I forgive those who have harmed me in my past and peacefully detach from them. I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.

If we perform good works, we will be successful and happy. We can show gratitude by caring for others. We gain a better understanding of ourselves when we empathize with others. The holidays are a time for charity. The quality of our life is closely linked to that of our neighbor’s. We are all related to each other in untold ways so we should recognize our core beliefs. This holiday season, for every negative thought that enters your head, acknowledge it, and replace it with two positive ones. Abandon your self-defeating habits and work to replace them with positive ones and most importantly, give freely of your love for others. You are enough. Stop thinking of what could go wrong and try to focus on what could go right.

... have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
— Rainer Maria Rilke