I did a series a while back called The Litter Box Trials – An Experiment in Gratitude. Those posts can be found here, should you be interested:
It was all about how my cat has super nasty poo, but I’m still grateful for him and how that could translate to the rest of my life. Fun fact: That same cat has developed diabetes and I have to give him insulin shots at 7am and 7pm every day for the rest of his life. Fun.
With Thanksgiving a day away, the disintegration of my marriage, looking down the barrel of some financially-tough months and a budding relationship that has reminded me how good being in love can feel – I thought it was time to refocus on all the things I have to be grateful for. It’s a lot. I have a lot to be grateful for. So why is it oh so hard to feel grateful?
One of the great human tragedies is that we are continuously focused on the bad things. Even when we don’t want to be. Pain is a stronger emotion than joy and this is by design, I’m sure. Pain is the only true motivator in life, the only thing that brings about real change. It should be the strongest emotion we have so we don’t stay stagnant in our lives and actually get up and make some shit happen. But it’s so easy to get lost in pain and feel sorry for yourself. It’s so easy to wallow, wonder why, what’s wrong with you, what’s wrong with them. It’s a barrage of questions no one has the answers to meant to drive you further and further into your despair, thereby defeating the purpose of this primal emotion because we’re now paralyzed with a sort of psychosis where we’ve invited this reality in which we clearly have it worse than anyone else on the planet. False. So False. Especially if you’re reading this on your smartphone in the good old US of A. We’ve been taught to revel in this pain. Hallmark made cards. People wrote self-help books. Pain and sadness became an industry and is perpetuated, if not encouraged, in today’s society. Am I off base here? Do you guys see this too? What a crock of shit. What we need are people to say to us:
“I’m so sorry (XYZ) has happened to you. You’re a lovely soul and I can see that you’re hurting. But you’re not going to lay here and feel sorry for yourself, because that’s not helping anyone. You’re going to focus on all the good things happening in your life and all the things you have to be grateful for. You’re not going to worry over things that happened yesterday or things that may or may not happen tomorrow. You’re going to get up, do right by the ones who’ve done you right and kill it like the boss you are.”
That’s who we need more of. The tough-lovers, the realists, the assholes. I’ve been taught many lessons in my life but the one I’ve most used is that perception is reality. Your world is what you perceive it to be, which just means you can choose to be in a good place. You can choose to be happy with what you have while you work for what you want. You can choose to see all the good things he/she does, instead of focusing on that one thing he/she said/did a zillion years ago/yesterday. You can choose to see the good. But you have to actively make that choice. And it takes a strong, self-aware person to choose to see the good and be grateful. I want to be strong. So I’m still working to choose to see the good and be grateful. I’m not a master, by any means. I fail all the time. But I won’t stop trying.
Today, I hope you see all the good things in your life. Today, I hope you stand tall and feel grateful for all the blessings in your life. Today, I hope you’re the strongest mother fucker you’ve ever met.