When I first tried my hand at keeping a gratitude journal, I wasn't exactly feeling exceptionally grateful for anything. I was probably the most miserable person I knew. I know this to be a fact, since I could hardly tolerate myself.
In fact, every time I heard Oprah, or Marianne Williamson, or some New-Agey person swoon over the importance of feeling grateful, I'd become irritated and my internal dialogue was rather bleak to say the least...
But, I figured I'd give it a shot. At best it would be of benefit. At worst, I'd be able to prove them all wrong. (That should give you a solid indication as to where I was at within myself.)
For a long time, I felt nothing! It was hard for me to come up with things I felt grateful for. Realistically I knew that there were many many aspects that I [quote] should [unquote] feel grateful for, but I couldn't remember what gratitude felt like or how I was to go about finding that feeling buried under all my moaning and griping.
I had formed a habit (and a bad one at that) of constantly seeing the negative side of every situation and completely bypassing the good parts.
All I could do at that time, was jot down what I knew I should feel grateful for, even if I wasn't feeling it. For the first little while I had to use my logic as opposed to my feelings.
What I realized as the time passed and as I, almost robotically, kept journaling, was that I was forcing myself to change the way I was perceiving...well...just about everything. I was shifting my focus.
The process was literally retraining my brain on a daily basis; eventually I found myself going about my day and taking little mental notes for my next journal entry. I started looking for the positives. I started looking at things, people, situations and experiences and wondering how I could transform what I was assessing into something more positive. Eventually, I was actually able to see the silver lining in just about anything without making it into something it was not.
So, really, I still wasn't feeling all that grateful yet, but I was definitely becoming a more positive person with a much healthier mindset. I was becoming a much happier person.
It's not to say that the crappy aspects of life didn't stand out as obviously crappy, but I had taught myself to notice something other than just the crappy aspects. Don't get me wrong, there are still some situations that suck, hardcore.
I doubt anyone is ever grateful that they broke their ankle, you know? HA! But maybe the next day they'll notice they're feeling quite content to just be able to spend a day on the couch taking part in a Netflix movie marathon! Who knows!
It's kind of like #4 on from my #DailyGratitude tweet with @5THINGSaDAY for today: My Heating Bill...
I don't particularly enjoy paying my heating bill. I'd rather hang onto that money, but I really am grateful that our home has heat and that we have the money to be able to pay for it. Paying up is much better than the consequences of...well... not paying up...especially here in Quebec since it's very Burr Baby Burrr right now!
I'm grateful for the heat, so essentially, I'm rootin' tootin' grateful for the bloody bill as well *grinds teeth*
Is there anything that you don't particularly enjoy but are still very grateful for?