We’ve all heard of gratitude practices.Making a list or recounting who and what we are grateful for.

This is a part of my practice. Recently while engaging in this practice I was moved to ugly cry status when someone I was sure had done me all the way wrong emerged in my heart as part of my gratitude list. And then another, and then another, and another. Next it shifted from people to trials, tribulations, valleys that I’d crawled through.

Something opened within me during this gratitude practice. I am not sure what. I didn’t rush to close it up. I have been sitting in this opening for a few days now: Gratitude for the hard people and the lessons the taught, the stuff in the road, and the things that I could once only perceive as obstacles.

Gratitude for complicated truths that only their presence could reveal. Gratitude for the resilience ignited within me. Gratitude for the strength and courage tapped into.

Gratitude for the “calling out” and the “calling up” that showed me where I was not listening to my inner calling. Gratitude for the grace that allowed me to see that shade, mess, doubt are teachers too. Gratitude for my ability to feel,  breathe, and live my way through enough to see that the boulder I thought was in the way was actually showing me where to turn. The person I thought was taking so much from me gifted me immeasurable access to a way forward that would cost me much less. The Love lost was the way I would find deeper love for myself. The bolted door was always a trap distracting me from the space that is opening… now.

You can’t force the gratitude to come.You can sit with it often and hold space for life to crack you open,and show you just how many of your rocks are diamond.