Gratitude in Tough Times
by Dr. Patty Stephens

Caught up in the immediacy of our family chaos, economic woes, unwelcome health issues, many of us find gratitude — the central value in the Thanksgiving holiday — difficult to muster up.

Our twin monsters of fear and shame rob us of our ability to experience gratitude. Who knows why, but scarcity and distress actually can focus us on what we have rather than who is missing at the table or what we’ve lost. When we refocus from what is not to what is here now, we CAN experience gratitude.

What are your experiences with gratitude? What are your blocks? How will you plan to deal with the non-Hallmark moments this holiday season? Please share your questions, comments, experiences. I like hearing from you.


Dr. Patty Stephens is a St. Andrew’s member and has an interesting and informative blog connected to her website. Her banner reads: “Discover your true needs. Connect with others to create success. Leverage your short time on this earth. Take the first step towards becoming more of who you can be.” Patty can be reached at

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