How to Be Thankful for the Beauty in Your Life {a DIY of Sorts}

I admit it.

I have a thankfulness problem.  For as long as I have memory of being alive, I’ve had a habit of NOT looking on the brighter side of things.   I’m definitely one of those “glass half empty” sorts.  I can’t help it. I don’t mean it.  I used to really condemn myself for it.  But little by little, I have not only learned to forgive myself for it, but to understand that it’s the flip side of a coin that has it’s benefits. That is, that I’m not content with the status quo. I constantly live in a state of knowing that I could do better, and that life could be more.  The challenge for me has been to look ahead in earnest expectation, while still remaining happy and thankful for all that I have now.

And what a challenge it can be at times.

I don’t think that any of us would deny that our life isn’t perfect.  Life is full of ups and downs, surprises, triumphs, and disappointments.. For some people, more than disappointments, they are forced to survive downright tragedies.  One minute, on top of the world, while in the very next breath, that very world crumbles beneath.

Life isn’t perfect, it just IS.

This is something I say to myself quite often when I find that I’m focusing on the negative. Life just IS. Then, I make myself be thankful.

Thankfulness is something I have to purpose in my heart to work at.  It  doesn’t come naturally, but if I purpose to look at the good in my life {of which there is SO much} then I start to become thankful. And to be completely honest, I have learned that thankfulness in life is the stepping stone to happiness.  For real and for true.

All of this brings me to today’s “DIY.”

This past August, my 2 oldest children went to sleep away summer camp for the first time.  It was a big step in not only the growth of my kids, but also a big step for me in letting them go {and grow} a little bit more.  As I sat one night, listening to the quietness of the house and feeling so lonely for them, I started to flip through the pictures on my phone. At the same time, I happened to have my itunes library open and playing. As I began to scroll through the pictures, this song,{ “Life is Beautiful” by the Afters} started playing.  It’s an amazing song to begin with, but as it played while I scrolled through my pictures it became all the more powerful. And moving.

It was as if I was looking at a highlight reel from an indie movie of my life set to an amazing soundtrack. All the good parts. The parts that are nearest and dearest to my heart. The parts that make living beautiful. And hot tears began to flow from my eyes as thankfulness welled in my heart. I have been given so much to be thankful for. Gifts beyond measure, happiness beyond anything that I deserve.

How to be Thankful for the Beauty in Your Life DIY:

What you need:

  • a smartphone with your picture library [or even a good old fashioned photo album}
  • a downloaded version of the song “Life is Beautiful” by the Afters {or play the embedded video here right from your computer}
  • optional: a box of tissues


What you do:

  • Play the song as loud as you are able
  • scroll through the bits of beauty from your life. your own personalized highlight reel of the things that mean the most
  • let yourself have a good, thankful, cleansing cry

Is it cheesy? Admittedly, yes.

Is it sappy? You better believe it.

Does that mean that you shouldn’t do it? Absolutely not.

I don’t think that any of us would deny that life isn’t perfect. But, I think if we look closely, we also have to admit that in all it’s imperfection,

Life IS beautiful.

Do you, like me, have to make a conscious effort to be thankful or does it come more naturally to you? I’d love to hear what you think.

XO, Sara


I cannot tell you how much I love that you stopped by! Sign up to receive my latest Twillypop articles, recipes, and miscellaneous fun right into your inbox.


  1. You have a wonderful heart my friend! Gratitude is what can make way for joy. Love this “alternative” DIY 🙂

  2. Great reminder and wonderful song. I’ll have to bust a move later. :O)

  3. Lovely post Sara! I try to be very mindful of all that I am grateful for. It’s like a prayer to me. That doesn’t mean I don’t get mad or down – I do – but then I think how it could be worse. I have so many things to be thankful for! I like to make slide shows – especially of family reunions and family trips. Anything put to music – definitely makes me cryl!

    • I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one that likes to have a good, sentimental cry every once in a while 🙂

  4. Thank you, beautiful post. I love the song!

Leave a Reply