Being Grateful…Even When It Hurts

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July 12, 2017 by Mark Hammerstrom

I was in for my semi-annual dental checkup the other day and the dentist, while generally complimenting me on the state of my dental hygiene, observed that ‘we’ needed to watch some hair line cracks developing in some of my teeth. “Do you grind your teeth?” she asked.  I replied that, no, I did not, at least not to my knowledge.

I should know, too, as my Dad was the champion teeth grinder of all time. No kidding: when I was growing up I could hear him grinding his teeth in his sleep behind two closed doors and a wall.  As you can imagine, it was an awful sound and I can only imagine what it did to his teeth and jaw.  Asking my wife if I ever did that, she replied that, while I could on occasion snore like a banshee, no teeth grinding went on.

Then one day I was watching a news program of some sort and became aware that my jaw was clenched tight and I was, in fact, grinding my teeth together. Ouch!  Heck, I was letting politics, world affairs, vacillations in the financial markets, and sundry other events, impact the state of both my dental and mental health!

Do you have such moments? Apparently most of us do.  Yet almost universally experts say that refocusing our thoughts away from adversity, anger, resentment and fear, to thoughts of gratitude and thankfulness make for a more emotionally balanced life—especially when events cause us hurt and pain.

Bertolt Brecht once famously said: “What a miserable thing life is: you’re living in clover, only the clover isn’t good enough.”

That certainly sums up what I was feeling as I was grinding my teeth.

So, I thought that it would good to share some great quotes about gratitude, if for no other reason than that they reinforce the many blessings that come our (my) way each day regardless of how much ‘bad’ is thrown at us. Rare is the day in which nothing good happens. Perhaps today it is just getting this blog finished!

If some of these help you as they help me, then this brief note will have fulfilled its purpose.

Here we go:

“If you would be loved, love, and be loveable.” –Benjamin Franklin

“All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind.” –Abraham Lincoln

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” –Thornton Wilder

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Gratitude is the music of the heart, when its chords are swept by the breeze of kindness.” –Author Unknown

“I feel a very unusual sensation — if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.” –Benjamin Disraeli

“When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man [or woman] who planted them.” –Chinese Proverb

“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.” –Marcus Aurelius

Yes, there are more. Just Google ‘gratitude’ and a virtually endless list of thoughts and quotes can be found. One thing I do in order to stay centered is to make it conscious effort to seek and recognize at least one thing each day for which I am grateful. That usually turns into a longer list as it is a rare day that only one thing appears for which I am grateful.

Of course, here at UCS we are very grateful for all of our clients, associates, family and friends. Without you we would have no reason to write this blog and be able to express our thankfulness for you each and every day.

What are you grateful for?

United Credit Service, Inc. is a full service, licensed revenue cycle management and debt collection agency in Wisconsin providing effective, customized one on one management and recovery solutions for our business partners. Visit our website at, call 877-723-2902, or check out our YouTube video.


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