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Operate from a place of gratitude, positivity and selflessness. There is always something to be grateful for. I look at each experience in life as a chance to learn and grow as a person. I am known for taking a day-old batch of lemons and making a kick-butt pitcher of lemonade to share with everyone around me.

I work hard to find the positive aspects from each experience that life throws my way. In 2004, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and I’ve since learned to appreciate the little things in life. You won’t find me complaining about doing the dishes because the reality is there may be a day when this task proves to be physically difficult for me. I don’t dwell on my diagnosis because I believe that negativity breeds more negativity. I’ve learned to appreciate each day and I never take my health for granted.

I strive to stay positive and to have an “attitude of gratitude”. About five years ago, I met a woman who had just experienced every mother’s worst nightmare when her two-year old son was hit and killed by a car. Just a week after his passing, she said, “I am thankful that I was able to be home with him for those two years of his life”.

In the midst of her deep despair and heartbreak, she was able to find something to be grateful for. I left that day with such a deep respect for this woman and the way she was choosing to cope with her loss. She was remembering the positives and living in gratitude.

Life is like a needlepoint picture. If you are looking at the needlepoint from one angle, you will see a mess of strings and knots. If you change your perspective by flipping the needlepoint over, you will see a beautiful picture. Sometimes we don’t understand the little pieces of string or the knots along the way but we need to have faith that each one has a purpose and will eventually make sense. Life can be full of trials and tribulations but there is purpose in each experience if we stop once in a while to truly reflect and grow.

When I think back on my life, I have found that I am happiest when I step outside of my own world and put someone else first. Our world has become very “me” focused. It takes a conscious effort to break the cycle and to step outside of one’s comfort zone.

I encourage you to offer a smile to a stranger or a hug to a friend, a compliment to someone who looks discouraged or purchase a bag of groceries for a single mom. Each one of us has different strengths and different resources available—no matter where you are in life, you have the ability to extend a hand and help someone whether it is with money or simple kindness.

My advice is to live and practice gratitude daily, see the positives in each experience and reach beyond your own world to make a difference in the life of another person through love and kindness.

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Tina Swithin is an author, advocate and international divorce coach residing in San Luis Obispo, California. Tina serves as Board President for One Mom’s Battle, a non-profit organization designed to educate the Family Court System on high-conflict divorces and Cluster B personality disorders. For as long as she can remember, Tina has been passionate about helping others but it wasn’t until 2011 that she found her true calling as a voice for people around the world who have been affected by injustice in the Family Court System. Tina believes that through education, change is not only possible but inevitable.

Tina's has written two books, Divorcing a Narcissist – One Mom’s Battle and Divorcing a Narcissist – Advice from the Battlefield. By sharing her journey with the world, Tina hopes to help others who may be in similar situations by letting them know there is light at the end of the tunnel. In addition, Tina currently provides inspiration and hope to people around the world through her blog, One Mom’s Battle.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Thank you Tina for sharing your positive perspective and energy with us today. We all need reminders in our life that we can enrich our own by helping another. I too have MS, and vow to use it enhance my life, not ruin it. We all have choices and can choose to move forward or look back forever. Even with our own health issues, we can do things to help others. Thanks for sharing your story. Lori Schneider

  2. I have been doing my best to live in gratitude and help those in need but my current situation makes it very difficult to focus on being positive

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