Gratitude and the Dark Side

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you. ~Eileen Caddy


Ever notice how the negative things in life try to steal all the press in your mind? We all experience setbacks, disappointments, frustration, anxiety, etc. None of us are immune to the dark side of life. After all, it is part of the human experience. Left unchecked, however, the dark side can leave us buckling under the weight of oppressive thoughts and emotions.

Guarding our hearts and minds is crucial if we are to keep our “eye on the prize” and enjoy life thoroughly, no matter what it may throw our way. I am firmly convinced that cultivating the discipline of gratitude is a powerful way to keep our hearts strong, especially when the dark side of life is rearing its ugly head!

I am a big fan of The Chronicles of Narnia. So are my children. In “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” King Caspian makes a powerful confession after reflecting on his personal battle with the dark side…

I spent too long wanting what was taken from me and not what was given.

Powerful. How much time has been lost stressing over what you don’t have rather than being grateful for what is right in front of you? Far too much… At least for me.


Today is my 42nd birthday. And I find myself in a very different place… Maybe it’s the maturity that comes with age (although my kids might disagree), but I am more grateful now than I have ever been. As I spend some time reflecting, here are the things that I am most thankful for right now…

  • My children. They are the pride of my life! I am blessed with the five smartest, coolest, funniest kids a man could ever want. If only they could all sing and dance, we could take this show on the road!
  • My life partner. She gets me. She loves me. She makes me laugh. And she loves Star Trek and Star Wars as much as I do! What else could I say? Jasmine, you have made me the happiest man alive! (Oh, and you taught me how to cook! Awesome!)
  • My extended family. They supported me through one of the toughest seasons of my life, and have always been there when I needed them. Thanks mom, Chantal, and Al! I am in your debt!
  • My dad. It has been five years since we lost you, but your life lives on in us. You taught me so much! I carry you in my heart every day. It has been said that you can tell the size of the ship from the size of the wake it leaves in the water. You left a huge wake…
  • My mentor. Jim, you taught me how to live again. At a time of my life where I had lost my way, you helped me find my way home. You inspire me in so many ways. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
  • God. For the opportunity to start again, for second chances, for the strength and courage You have given me… The list is endless!


I could go on… But blogs aren’t supposed to be this wordy, so I should probably wrap this up! Let me finish with this. Legendary jazz musician Lionel Hampton once said…

Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.

What are you grateful for today? Why not make a list, and give the dark side a swift kick in the pants!


Until next time,

Eric Deschamps | Business Coach, Ottawa

Eric DeschampsBusiness Coach Ottawa

Founder/President of Breakthrough Coach

“Helping others succeed has always been my passion. There is no greater feeling in the world than coming alongside someone and empowering them to achieve their goals and dreams.” I work with individuals with a single and simple purpose: to help them define and attain their goals, one step at a time. Through the coaching relationship, I help business owners and professionals achieve more by delivering world-class growth strategies, tools and advice individually tailored to each owner and his/her business. 

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