Be grateful for your life. It is truly a blessing. Feel gratitude every day. Look for things to feel grateful about. 

Most days, I am living in gratitude. And yes, there are days when I am not. And then there are those “I’m grateful but…” days. Here’s what I’ve come to realize- There are 3 different ways to look at this:

Grateful Pollyanna – This is the person who is perpetually happy & grateful. A lot of #blessed. There are no issues – everything is just perfect. 

Grateful Victim – This is someone who uses the phrase “grateful, but…” Yes, they can recognize that for which they are grateful. And using the word “but” actually negates everything that was said prior to the word. For example, “I am so grateful for my job, but I don’t feel valued.” You are grateful, but your point is that you aren’t valued (see what I did there?). 

Grateful Realist – This is someone who is feeling it all. The language used is “grateful, and…” Using the same example, by saying “I am so grateful for my job, and I don’t feel valued” makes you understand that there are 2 different things going on at one time.

This “feeling more than one way at the same time” used to throw me for a loop. I’d feel guilty for not being completely one way or the other. Wasn’t I supposed to feel grateful? What was wrong with me if I felt something else as well?

It took many years for me to understand that feeling “all the feels” is a very good thing. When I am in a situation where I believe I should be feeling one way, but I am feeling something else, that is information for me that something is awry. It gives me the opportunity to check it out and see why I am feeling the way I am. The danger with the Pollyanna is that you are ignoring signals that something needs to be examined. The other truth is that you can’t push those “ugly feelings” down forever – like a Whack-A-Mole, they will just pop up somewhere else at another time. Or, you have to find other ways to keep them buried, none of which ends well. 

To be able to acknowledge and accept what is coming forward is something for which to be grateful. I spent many years unaware of feelings, and then had a difficult time dealing with them when they snuck to the surface. They were terrifying as I was not able to control them. I had to learn that feelings are like clouds – they are here, and then they move on. 

The other thing I needed to learn was that it is normal to have a multitude of feelings – all at once. I can be very happy about something, nervous about it, have doubts about some aspect, and not like another part. It’s all good. I can note that which warrants examination, and release that which does not. And I can just let it all be – and be grateful for the whole lot. 

At this time of giving gratitude and thanks, I’m so thankful to be at a place in my life where I can do honest self-reflection. The exercise allows me to recognize that for which I am grateful and to really feel it. What a difference it makes when it moves from your head to your heart!

May you find your gratitude, for all the weird and wonderful things this life has to offer.