Gratitude is a choice

April 30th, 2014 by admin in Emotions, Gratitude
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Recently I was talking with a friend about gratitude. She asked about finding the things to be grateful for. She talked about how hard things have been and how it’s often easier to focus on that.

I get that.

I know how consuming the hard and the bad can be. I know how unfair things can feel. I know grief and anger and discomfort.

We talked about journaling and how easy it is to fill our pages with the yucky stuff. And then I said to her, “And at the end of the day, I can always find something for which I am grateful.”

And then I went home and thing after thing kept going “wrong.” I was cutting something for my daughter and accidentlaly cut my favorite sweater. I dropped things. I waited too long to reserve a specific apartment in Paris and lost it to someone else. My daughter woke up at 4:45am and decided she was ready to start her day. Yeah. So where was my gratitude then???

The truth is I still could have found gratitude. There were still plenty of wonderful amazing things in my life…all my basic needs were being met…I still loved my work and my family and my friend and my city. And at the same time, I figured it was OK to be frustrated and bummed and tired and overwhelmed. In that moment I didn’t want to feel grateful.

Gratitude is a choice. It is something that I choose often because I usually feel good when I do…but I also think it’s OK to feel all of the other things in your life too. I’ve written about feeling multiple emotions at once…if we only look at the good we might miss something important…if we only focus on the bad the same thing happens. If we take everything for granted we are missing out and if we are grateful at the expense of truly feeling our feelings that is problematic too.

Gratitude is a choice.

Today I choose to feel grateful for the sunshine, an upcoming trip, a gleeful toddler who no longer wants to hold my hand while she toddles and cherry pie on the patio.

I’m also feeling all of the other things going on in my life…but today it feels easy to choose gratitude.

What will you let yourself choose today?

You might be interested in these similar posts –

Gratitude doesn’t mean pretending things aren’t hard

Living isn’t for the faint of heart

Looking for BIG and missing the little

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