Gratefulness. It’s real, yo. I felt it.
I can’t list how many times I have read, or heard about gratefulness and all the wonderful, sometimes perceived ‘magical’ things that come with it.
I had every doubt in my mind, for I couldn’t recall the last time I felt that way (grateful). I was sure it was fake news and the new kid on the block in a town of marketing buzzwords. It’s everywhere. There are numerous people talking about it online, in person, at the grocery store… and now I’m going to hop on the wagon, too.
That’s hard to admit actually - that you can’t remember the last time you felt grateful - because I have a great life… but I only know this now because I can see it clearly.
I used to wallow in misery for ‘not being good enough, skinny enough, accomplished enough…’ You name it, I wasn’t good at it, nor was I worthy of it. I deserved to be miserable. And the kicker? This came from me, my brain, nobody else’s. I told myself these things so often that I believed them and then became them. This was me, THIS was who I thought I was destined to become... “Hello, it’s nice to meet you! … My name? Oh, my name is Not Good Enough, what’s yours?… … Leslie. What a nice name. … … Oh, where am I from? I’m from a town called Everyone Is Better Than Me.”
Glamorous, eh? Then you wind up not just miserable but unproductive - you’re not able to focus on anything else because your mind is occupied by these negative thoughts, tired - because constantly dwelling on these things is exhausting, and lethargic - why get out of bed when it won’t do any good, anyways? The list goes on…
Today I make it my daily duty to force change in this destructive mental pattern. And while I still have sad moments like I did last Friday (you’ll know what I’m talking about in a few paragraphs), they don’t last forever. In fact, I remained in those feelings (last Friday) for maybe an hour-and-a-bit, but then was able to shake them off and get on with my day. That’s like, crazy talk.
How was I able to shake them off? The only answer I can give is that as I was feeling these feelings, I was feeling them from a place of acceptance (which is new for me), whereas before I would be coming from a place of self-pity.
This morning I enjoyed an impromptu moment of reflection (thanks to Facebook)… after dragging my ass out of bed at an ungodly hour to do ungodly things… just joking y’all this is part of new me, but only on Friday because my friend goes to that gym class too ;)
Anyways, this moment of reflection happened when one of my Facebook memories popped up in my feed. A feeling hit me like an arrow out of the air, and it was good. It felt good. So I sat in it for a while and really thought about this memory and the course of events that (I now know) would lie ahead. I felt… wow.
Last Friday I was sitting in the same chair I am now with feelings of extreme sadness (and disappointment, and regret, and shame, and embarrassment…) for all of the stupid shit I had done/said/forgotten in my life, and the pain it caused the people I care* about the most.
This Friday, today, is different… in a good way.
*While I knew I cared about my people all along, I didn’t really know… until the moment came when I thought I had lost them. The life I had known, gotten used to, then taken for granted, was all gone. I cannot describe what that feels like better than using the analogy of becoming ‘an empty shell’.
That feeling? That ‘empty’ feeling? It’s shit. But time really does help... I can now re-read those words and understand that it was me who was lost because I am now able to see what I had become.
Today, one day shy of my 3 month token, I am not sad, because today is not that day. Last Friday was that day. Today, I feel content and appreciative of the beings in my life (even if we don’t speak very often), the things I have accomplished, the roof over my head, the food I get to eat, the work I get to do, the city where I live, the places I get to see…
This (and correct me if I’m wrong), is what gratefulness feels like.
Do you ever feel this way, too? Tell me below or in private here.