By Samantha Ardoin, RCC Practicum student
“Gratitude is the ability to reminisce about all the support and help we have received, with an attitude of humility. It is a state of mind. When we lovingly recognize the goodness in another person, it helps to awaken the goodness in ourselves.” – Amma
With Thanksgiving this month and the rest of the holiday season around the corner, it’s almost inevitable that we start thinking about how we relate (and how we don’t relate) to our families. The holiday season is the most stressful time of the year for many. Spending time with those we love can be magical, and at the same time it can also bring up a lot of old feelings around belonging and not belonging. This past week at Rangeview, we spent some group time talking a little bit about the holiday season: what we are grateful for, our family dynamics, and how we can be around others without losing ourselves. When going through tough times, it’s important to remember the positive difference we make in our communities when we choose to be present and change our lives for the better. It’s also important for each one of us to remember our own needs and boundaries, and to treat ourselves with the same compassion we would like to offer our loved ones.
While it can sometimes feel like a difficult discipline to follow, remembering what we are grateful for can be a pivotal practice for many. I know that when I sit down and think about what I am truly grateful for, another level of mindfulness opens up for me as I realize how grateful I am for the basics, how amazing it is to be a living creature, breathing and experiencing the world around me. Activities as simple as spending time with a good friend, cooking a meal for your family, or playing in the snow with one’s children or significant other become even more meaningful and satisfying when we approach them with a sense of gratitude.
I am so grateful for the community of therapists, clients, and friendly animals that make up Rangeview Counseling Center. This place is a kind of family of its own, but the kind of family that strives to make sure everyone feels welcomed and at home. No matter what kind of struggles they are going through, everyone deserves to feel like they belong.