“Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint. I can choose to be grateful when I am criticized, even when my heart still responds in bitterness. I can choose to speak about goodness and beauty, even when my inner eye still looks for someone to accuse or something to call ugly.” ~ Henri Nouwen
When the slings and arrows are directly aimed, hit their mark and open a wound, we can choose to pick at the scab, maybe even cause it to get infected and make the scar worse, or we can marvel we’re still standing, doing what we do best, and able to heal fully. We see beauty in the recovery and becoming whole again. We see goodness in those who come alongside even if it means they become a target as well.
Even when our hearts bleed from inflicted wounds, we can choose forgiveness that arises from grace and gratitude. Bitterness and anger is washed away by blood shed freely.