This is why I thought I was a horrible, ungrateful person for the entire 2016: I could not be grateful for some people I thought I ought to. I tried so hard to be grateful, despite the boundary issues we were having. I wrote pages of the ways they are good and deserve to be appreciated. I thought gratitude was the way to a better relationship. None of it worked and I ended up with that rotten story that I must just be a horrible, ungrateful person.
A lot of pain and months later, I can clearly see that only working on boundaries changed anything at all, not gratitude.
And I’ve been wrong about gratitude.
In that 4-minute video of Brene Brown in my last post, she says every night at the dinner table, her family takes turn to say what they’re grateful for that day. The kids may say something like they’re grateful for bugs, or the bedroom wall between them. Elizabeth Gilbert writes down her happiest moment every day. She said it can be “Somebody hands you a cup of coffee. You finally get to take off your shoes. It stops raining.” These are the practices that make these people joyful.
It seems obvious now but I’m thrilled to learn it: that a gratitude practice is not required to be in an area that you struggle. Gratitude and happiness are not asking you to be happy and grateful for the things you can’t be happy and grateful about. This is about focusing on the things and people that you are grateful and happy about.
So, if you were finding it hard to be grateful about something, like I was, then let’s just find something else to be grateful for 🙂
By the way, I enjoyed this article called 5 Ways Gratitude Can Backfire because I can relate to ALL 5 of them. Have a read and see what else Gratitude is not. http://berkeleysciencereview.com/5-ways-gratitude-can-backfire/