Counselor's Corner: The season of gratitude


November and December are months when we focus on gratitude. The weather might appear drab but our hearts are challenged to be grateful. The other day I read a quote that said: “Repetitive complaining will attract things for you to complain about. Repeated gratitude will attract things for you to be thankful about.”

When I am grateful my heart opens up to love. When I am complaining and looking for the negative side of things, my heart closes up and does not allow joy or love to enter.

History tells us that there will always be struggles. However, in each century positive people helped make changes that left an imprint on that century.

Gratitude opens the heart to God. Gratitude turns us away from negativity. Gratitude frees us from the internal prison of complaints and criticism of others.

I am always amazed at the barren trees in November and December. But then I realize that the positive energy in these trees will cause them to blossom again in the spring. That positive energy is always with them and the warmth of spring causes this energy to take over and make the trees fresh and green again with an abundance of leaves and blossoms. That energy is always there waiting to be released.

Each of us is filled with positive energy. What will release this positive energy is a quiet sense of gratitude. Be thankful for this moment. Be thankful for your existence, it will release an energy inside of you that will bring you into a deeper sense of love and peace.

Gratefulness pushes us toward a deeper spiritual life and a more honest emotional life. Gratitude helps us see our emotional wounds in a productive manner. Instead of being angry about what has happened to us, we become grateful for what we have learned from our painful experiences and we give up being angry at others for possibly causing us pain.

Thanksgiving will be here in 16 days. We celebrate immigrants from Europe being welcomed and fed by Native Americans. What gratefulness to see love extended to others from a foreign country instead of suspicion, criticism and war. When gratitude happens, love happens.

Gratitude is a conscious decision to be thankful about something in the present moment. Look at something you have and be grateful for it. Look at your spouse, significant other, children, grandchildren, friends and country and be grateful. Life is a gift. Be grateful. Your existence is a gift from God. Be grateful. Each moment of life is a stepping stone for a deeper experience of God. Be grateful.

Death is the beginning of a new life. Be thankful to realize you will live forever in joy.

Each person is always loved by the God of your belief. Be grateful.

It makes no difference what religious or no religious affiliation you may have, gratefulness in the present moment will open you up to another positive experience of love and God. Grateful people find a faith that becomes meaningful. Grateful people discover the best version of their own personal self.

No matter how gray or drab the world might seem around us, the positive energy of gratefulness which is present in each of us, can bring us into a joyful and positive experience of life. Be consciously grateful now and you will be surprised what will happen to you.

Fr. Solanus Casey OFM Cap. a very humble and loving Capuchin priest who died in 1957 would often say: “Be grateful ahead of time”. This very holy man positively influenced many people by his simple gratitude and love. He was filled with love towards everyone because he was so grateful for everything.

Gratitude will open us up to love. Love will open us up to peace. Peace will allow the positive energy inside each of us to bring more love into the world and to everyone who meets us this day.

Work on being more grateful during these next two months. Have an awesome sixteen days getting ready for Thanksgiving by becoming more grateful throughout each day.


Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage and family therapist and limited licensed psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center. He conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Michigan. He is associate editor and contributing writer for Human Development Magazine. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at (248)362-3340. His e-mail address is and his website is


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