I want to go ahead and say right now that I may be guilty of occasionally making fun of the #SoBlessed folks out there. You know the ones I’m talking about. The women that are always posting on social media
pretending proclaiming their blessedness. Admittedly, being the cynical turd that I am; I believe, strike that, I KNOW that some of it is just for show. I mean if you come in mad at the world and then pose for a picture where you look happy as a clam. We all know that you’re faking it. So, bye, Felicia! Again, I am a hugely cynical person and I’m working on it, but I’m not the only one who took notice. *Ahem*. But that’s none of my business, now let me get back to my tea. I’m sorry that I am still laughing about it and I know I need to get right with the Lord.
Sure, it may be excessive and warrants an eye roll every now and again, but are they all wrong? Think about it, it is statistically impossible that every single post/person is faking it. There are some women that are truly grateful and their attitude of gratitude shows in their every day lives. And as much as I want to be a turd about their happiness, I believe that they may be on to something fantastic.
I have done a lot of reading in my downtime about gratitude and the hundreds of gratitude posts that pop up this time of year. I’m sure you all know that the start of November is often the start of the 30 Days of Gratitude posts on Facebook. I enjoy them and I try to “like” or comment on each one. Though, it’s a shame that the only time most people focus on being grateful or thankful is at year’s end. I am 100% guilty of this as well. For my regular readers, you know that we had some bad news mid-November so I’ve needed each and every one of them this year. I need to focus on my own gratitude so I can try to see past some of the bad.
Gratitude by definition is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Thank you, Google. If you want to bum yourself out, click the drop down box below the definition and check the “mentions”. There you can see the use of the word drops significantly. How in the world can the entire internet population stop being grateful? Maybe I’m just reading it wrong. Or at least I hope I’m reading it wrong.
On a wholly serious note, it is ridiculously easy to be ungrateful or to lose sight of goal of having gratitude. For example, I am guilty of saying (in the past week) that I’ve put in my hard work/effort and I have earned it. And for clarification, I was not referring to a job where I get paid for completed tasks. There should be no expected compensation for my efforts. Do you know what that is on the most basic level? Entitlement. And that is an absolute smack in the face. Honestly reflecting back on my mindset and thoughts has been an eye-opening experience. I am now and have been an entitled, little brat. The world at large does not owe me da-diddly-doodly-squat. There is not a soul that owes me something for anything that I may have done. Sadly, there are an awful lot of people who do not recognize these revelations.
But it cuts me deep to admit that I am ungrateful and I am selfish. And I know in my heart that I do not want my daughter to grow up with this mindset. I get where it comes from, years and years of working and looking forward to compensation for that hard work. But outside of a work environment, that is not how it works at all. So I am working on changing.
The world is full of bad things so why bother being grateful at all? Well, focusing on the good shifts your mindset away from hyper-focusing on the bad. Of course, sometimes the bad things are still there, but for me, it changes my outlook of them. Instead of seeing my recent miscarriage as solely a loss, I am beginning to see it as a lesson in being humble. I’m sure not everyone would see it this way, but I took my fertility and uneventful first pregnancy for granted. I am truly humbled by the experience and truly grateful of my Squeak now. In fact, in retrospection, I am trying to look for the good in most of my past, painful events.
Every single day, we wake up with the choice of whether we want to be grateful and present in this world. So why not choose to be grateful, appreciative, and happy? Once you (and I) recognize that to some degree it is a conscious choice, that we can choose to be happy, why wouldn’t we? Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a quick fix remedy for everyone. And I am most certainly NOT saying you should just be happy and not depressed (because mental health is not a joking matter).
Gratitude in Practice
But in your day-to-day life you can choose to make small changes that will have massive impact. Just try it for a few days. Take a few minutes to reflect on what you do have to be grateful for. I don’t live in a mansion, but I have a sturdy roof over my head. I’m not winning any popularity contests, but those in my life who love me, love me truly and for who I am. We may not be rich, but we are wealthy in ways that money cannot buy. So what can be done to help focus the mind on the positive?
Everyday write down, or say aloud, three things that you’re grateful for. A lot of other people suggest doing this in the morning before anything else. This will set the tone of your day before you’ve even started. Easy peasy, right?
As a Christmas present to myself I’ve purchased a Gratitude Journal for Moms. Granted, this may be cheating because it gives daily prompts to help the writing process, but I feel that I need to start somewhere. If that’s not your style, you can always purchase a pretty journal and write your own thoughts of thankfulness.
These are some of the blog posts that have helped to inspire me to lead a more grateful life.
- Phaytea’s Pulse – she is in the middle of a 31 Days of Gratitude Challenge so be sure to check all of her posts.
- Reina + Co – How to Be Successful by Cultivating Gratitude
- The Quiet Mind – How to Welcome Gratitude Into Life
- Katie Wilkinson Creative – Why I Write a Gratitude Journal (and you should too)
Talk is Cheap
“Gratitude, like faith, is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it grows, and the more power you have to use it on behalf. If you do not practice gratefulness, its benefaction will go unnoticed, and your capacity to draw on its gifts will be diminished. To be grateful is to find blessings in everything. This is the most powerful attitude to adopt, for there are blessings in everything.
– Alan Cohen
This post is a bit earlier than I had originally intended, but I am in need of a shift in focus. Being more grateful is one of my upcoming resolutions. I have enough in my life. WE have enough as Hubs’ (who is a far greater cynic than I) pointed out recently. I can be very grateful and I intend to be more positive.
“Choosing to smile even when you are having a bad day doesn’t mean you are being fake. It means you are choosing to focus on all the reasons you have to be thankful instead of the reasons you have to be stressed.”
– Dave Willis
For those of you who are actually-factually, genuinely grateful people, how do you express your gratitude? Do you, yourselves, journal or write lists? Is your gratitude shown during daily prayers? How do you keep yourself motivated on the hard days? And for any people who are wanting to hop aboard the Gratitude Express, what are your reasons?