Finding Gratitude: The Good, Bad & Ugly

   Words by Jessie Gardner


Words by Jessie Gardner


All over my hands, stuck in her hair and between her toes, on the dog and on the wall.

It was one of those days. Not the kind where shit hits the fan.

The kind of day where shit hits the fan, has 9 lives and lands on its feet.

As a first time mom of a chunky monkey 8 month old, working full time and founding a soulful startup on the side, there are days like this - full of stress, everything seeming to hit that glorious fan, exhaustion, you name it. But the truth is, without days that challenge us to confront discomfort, anger, stress, fear and uncertainty, it would be harder to truly feel gratitude.

As the season of giving and gratitude starts to fall on us like soft snowflakes, it’s an opportunity to look at our lives and unlock the learning, beauty and value that comes from the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

It’s often when we have the “good” flowing we don’t realize it until well after it’s passed. Think about where you were one year ago. What was on your mind? What were you worried about? What seems insignificant that was such a big deal then? What exists today in your life that didn’t a year ago? Look at today with the perspective of what was to understand the good that exists in your life today.  

The Bad

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that “bad” things happen for us and not to us. There is something to be learned from any situation, which defeats the idea that it is bad. We each meet experiences in our lives which break our heart, hurt our soul and bring us to our knees. If we can see that light peak out at the end of that dark tunnel, we can be grateful for the “bad” because it enriches us, teaches us and makes us better. What “bad” situations have perched on your shoulder lately? How can you see them as good and be grateful for the lesson?

The Ugly

What is happening in the world that makes your heart shatter? Paris? Syria? The homeless? Underprivileged children? Abused animals? The corporate definition of success? There is an issue that exists that is ugly and unfair. What speaks to you? There are lives waiting to be impacted by your passion to give, to help and to serve. When the ugliness of the world calls on our deepest desires to help, to support and to love, magic happens. We can be grateful for action driven love that is spurred from ugliness to create good in the world.

Gratitude settles the rumble of anger. It calms the stressed heart. It redefines perception. It heals.

No matter how the day unfolds; good, bad or ugly, gratitude is a choice. It’s the difference in seeing life as a diaper gone wild, or seeing the beaming life of a baby in your arms.

Challenge yourself to find gratitude in every day. 

Jessie Gardner is an entrepreneur, inspirationist and Co-Founder of HeySoul, an inspirational experience company delivering themed inspirational gift boxes every month to doorsteps around the world. Jessie has over 7 years of experience in the online marketing industry focused on employee happiness and is a certified Yoga Teacher.

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