Today’s food for thought is on gratitude and appreciation.
I recently read a friend’s post about what she was grateful for in her life. It was a beautiful post to read. AND I found myself second guessing some of my ponderings expressing frustration, unhappiness, anger, and discontent. (And I also thought about how easy it can be to want to fast-forward my kids through their own moments of frustration, unhappiness, anger, and discontent.)
There is so much good in your life, Robin. Why are you complaining, talking about the “bad” stuff? Get over it. Move on. Be happy. Be grateful. BE GRATEFUL.
It struck me that this sort of thinking, that I shouldn’t let myself feel and be honest with myself about what is currently swirling around inside — getting into this boat of “don’t talk about the ‘bad’ stuff” is a place where I can get into trouble and out of whack.
I’m totally for gratitude and appreciation (and a bigger fan of thinking about what I’m thankful for in terms of the latter; gratitude feels like a “should do” to me sometimes, something crammed down our throats (“Be grateful, it could be so much worse; BE GRATEFUL!!”), which misses the point, I think, though the beauty of words is that we can go with whatever works for each of us).
However, I see that to truly get to the space where I am in appreciation/gratitude, I need to go through whatever is present at the moment. And it is KEY for me to remember that whatever is present at the moment is okay — there are no “good” or “bad” feelings and emotions. Feelings and emotions just are what they are, indicators and information. I can give them a weight of “good” or “bad,” but that’s not required nor necessary (and my choice if I do).
And when I allow myself to feel whatever is there and not shove it down, most of the time whatever is swirling around inside begins to dissipate. Then it’s here in this space that I start to get clear. I start to know, feel, and see all of the good around me. And there is so much. (On the kids end, when I try to push them through without allowing them their own space? It doesn’t seem to work out so well…)**
What if we allowed space for ourselves (and in doing so modeled for our teens), space for feeling however we’re feeling right now?
**I’ll start by putting my family at the top of the list. I appreciate each of them for the beauty and craziness they bring to my life. I am a better person for/because of each of them.