We just wrapped up Thanksgiving here in Canada. Usually one of my favourite times of the year. Family together, food cooking up and everyone keeping in mind the basis of this holiday – Gratitude. I am usually basking in all of the joy and good feelings.
This year was not as beautiful as it has been in the past. I won’t get into why because that would involve telling other people’s stories and that is not my place. Let’s just say I was struggling to find something to be happy about, I was feeling very hurt and it was lonely.
Not exactly a day to be awash in feelings of gratefulness now is it?
In truth, I alternated for a while between wanting to crawl back in bed and have a good cry and feel sorry for myself and feeling like railing at the world for its ‘unjustness’ (is that a word? If not it really should be.)
I did neither. I paused. I explored the hurt and the sad feelings. I let them exist for a time. When I felt calmer I decided to switch my own gears. I went to my Gratitude Journal and read over my entries. Then I took my Gratitude Rock and tried to remember all the ‘best’ things from each day that I had given on over. And then, the hard part. I sat and wrote 10 things I was grateful for right then and there. It was a struggle at first because I had to dig deeper then the hurt I was feeling; deeper then the pain of being let down. Boy I wish that kind of digging burned as many calories as physical digging 😉
During this I realized something deeply that I think I kind of already knew. We have it so freakin backwards in this world and society. We think that once we are happy we can find a way to live in gratitude but that is so entirely wrong and turned around.
The truth is we won’t be happy if we live that way. We just can’t be, because we are always waiting for ‘something’ to change, to come, to leave…whatever. Guess what…there is always something new to wait for.
What I realized is this. When you dwell in a heart that is full of grateful thoughts you create happiness for yourself.
I was not jumping wildly around happy and feeling eternally blissful after my meditations, I’ll be honest. My hurt feelings still stung a bit when I thought about them. The thing is I was peaceful and a calm. The churning in my gut and tears had eased and gone. Gratitude just changed how I dealt with the hurt.
It’s really hard to explain how your outlook changes your emotions until you practice this. It has taken a fair bit of work to get to this point and I’m sure I have a long way to go. I’m learning each and every day more and more and one of the things I’ll be putting down in my journal today is that I am so truly grateful that I have this forum, this blog, to share with you and to learn from you.
Blessings and gratitude.