Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness
It’s the time of year where many of us join our families and give thanks but how do you feel thankful when you feel like you are sinking in quicksand? This is my struggle right now. This year has been so hard on me. A breakup almost almost broke me, my ex-husband made a reappearance, money was funny, some of my friendships fell apart and I find myself in this weird space between brokenness and wholeness, still trying to put the pieces back together again and find my joy. This year has been HARD! I’m mentally; physically, emotionally and psychologically drained…running on empty so with all of the chaos that is my life. I wasn’t in the mood to be thankful because there was so much negativity and unpleasantness in my life. It’s so easy to be grateful during the good times. How can you be grateful when dealing with job loss, heartache, betrayals, financial struggles, the death of a loved one, financial struggles and/or illness? Even more, how can you be grateful for the negative experiences that are occurring in your life?
I claimed healing this year, but have yet to see it manifest in my life and that’s frustrating. I’m still unpacking stuff…. Anger, hurt, fear, and this feeling that I don’t have a voice. Every time, I think I’ve done the work required to move forward, something comes up to remind me… I’m not there yet. I want to be there…and the entire process of healing has been excruciating. It’s caused me to question so many things about who I think I am VS who I want to be. I want to be whole and complete. I want to feel joy in spite of the trials in my life. I want to remain positive and not ruled by my emotions. I want to feel the emotional, spiritual, mental and psychological release of all things weighing down my spirit.
I don’t like how I feel right now. I don’t like the anger inside of me, I don’t like carrying hurt around (it’s too heavy), I hate feeling like I’m in a perpetual state of mourning the things that have died in my life; relationships, friendships, hopes, and dreams. I don’t feel like myself right now and I know that in time, I’m supposed to feel better but I’m not a patient person by nature. This year is showing me that there is no such thing as “microwave healing”.
THE HEALING POWER OF GRATITUDE
Scientists say practicing gratitude shifts our thinking and elicits a surge of feel-good hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. (Psychology Today) In other words, the daily practice of being thankful can literally combat negative emotions and feelings. According to Psych Central, gratitude actually shifts your perspective from feeling depression, anger, or self-pity to happiness. It can open your heart to joy and generosity because you begin to feel that you’re blessed. how you view your circumstances determines your ability to manage and overcome them. Often it’s worry or anxiety about the future that colors how you see a situation. Negative emotions limit your imagination and ability to cope and solve problems.
“Your state of mind is more important than your outer experience”
BE INTENTIONALLY GRATEFUL
Well if that wasn’t a word for my ungrateful behind. Can being grateful really affect your spirit in such a powerful way, lifting the weight of anger, self-pity, and/or sadness? I started researching gratitude and how to practice it in a way that was beneficial and intentional. I’m a “type A” Personality by nature so I like steps, lists, and procedures. It works with my personality. There are several ways to practice gratitude in a way that is empowering and satisfying. I decided to take time every day to practice gratitude and see if I don’t feel a shift; spiritually, mentally and emotionally. This month, I’m asking my readers to participate in this challenge and join me by practicing moments of gratitude in our daily lives. I’m a full participant in this challenge because I believe it is an important part of my healing process and hopefully helpful to you guys as we are on this journey together. Each week, I’ll post a prompt that I’ll ask you to think and meditate upon and I’ll share my thoughts and hope you will share yours with me as well.
This weeks challenge question: What negative experience are you grateful for and why? I intend to share my thoughts on this journal prompt later in the week?
Until next time,
Take care of yourself and one another