Discouragement hits me when I least expect it. It is some kind of monster that wants to keep me down. I have spent so much of my healing journey acquiring confidence I am surprised when this demon shows up at my door. It seems to sneak up on me, possessing my entire being.

Discouragement can tear down and take away all my dreams in a second. My accomplishments and the effort I put into every day have no meaning! My thoughts immediately go to a place I have worked so hard to free myself of - "What's the use!", "You're not getting any closer to realizing your dreams.", "What's taking so long!", "I can't do this anymore!" "I just can't." "I give up!"

Discouragement wants me to stop, wants me to give up, wants me to quit, and quit now! It is an ugly sort of feeling that zaps my energy and causes an aching in my bones stopping, me dead in my tracks.

It can cause me to go deeper into other ugly feelings of despair, frustration or worthlessness. I know I don't want to go there. So, I try to think about what I can do to help myself. In these moments, I refocus my thoughts on gratitude.

Gratitude is so underrated. It has become trendy in the most recent past as something we "should" spend time on. But truth be known, gratitude is a practice. Feelings of gratefulness, over the simplest of things in my path, brings me to a deeper understanding of true happiness. I practice gratitude daily. When I go to a place of gratitude I realize just how incredible my life is. The sound of my son's voice, even though he is over 3,000 kilometres away from me, reminds me of the wonder of technology and just how close he really is inside my heart. Mel's love and patience that envelope my every thought of despair, and changes my direction, just because he is so full of light. As much as I have given away, cut back on spending and having, I feel gratitude about my creative life expanding.

Walking home from the grocery store last night, I looked up into the sky and all of a sudden my feelings of discouragement started to melt. I am so grateful that monster didn't stick around very long. I am grateful too that I could keep it at bay and move into brighter feelings and thoughts.