Because I want to be intentional about expressing my gratitude even when I don’t feel like it…
Day 8: It is so easy to complain! At least for me.. Perhaps you have evolved passed the need to vent incessantly about the negatives in your life?
The very reason for this hard core effort on my part to pinpoint something, anything to be thankful for is because I have zero tendency to naturally look on the bright side. Any side of the bed is the wrong one. There is no cup to determine its fullness. My proclivity is to wallow in negativity.
Sorry, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to force that rhyme.
When you have a mind like mine (one that immediately responds to every new day with a grumble down in my soul), the heaviness starts to weigh you down. I am not naturally a smiler, but my eyes don’t even bother to convey warmth anymore. My arms naturally fold atop my chest; my lips–once a flat line–have begun to curl downward. I have morphed into an Eeyore of sorts, expecting the bad in every situation and finding some where none would be.
Writing about gratitude compels me to look for at least one good thing every day that I can reflect on later. The press of the time limit I set on myself (7 p.m., nightly) hits around 3:45 p.m. as I am switching off my work brain and warming up the home brain. Once six o’clock blinks before my face, I am trying my darnedest to get ‘er dun. Last night, I pressed schedule on that puppy at like 6:53! The bullets I sweat? Ridiculous. But I delivered it, and was quite happy about what I shared, having spent the bulk of my day at work surrounded by students who wanted to eat with me, talk with me, hang out with me, share with me. Reflecting on that instead of the 100 other stressful things that happened was the best. But first I had to wade through those other 100 thoughts.
Why go through such an inorganic process, you ask? Because I am trying to change a mindset in which I have lived most of my adult life. And in my very intentional decision to change my way of thinking I had to do something pretty drastic and journal it. Writing things down is a prerequisite step for me in all things: learning, decision making, doing… When I write something plainly, it becomes what I believe and what I eventually earnestly speak, think, and do. I become what I write.
Is that marvelous–that something so seemingly innocuous has become the tool by which I change my life?
So today, if anything, I am grateful for the chance to fake it til I make it, holding myself accountable for being positive when my default has been the opposite. I am grateful that these words hold power for me–enough to make me evaluate how I move in the world. Post by post, I am changing my perspective. Every day that I write, I create a vision for my life that, at the end, shall speak and not lie.
And I do pray, that on at least some level, my words help turn your gaze a little, too, so that you can see around the negative and focus on the positive.
“And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
Habakkuk 2:2-3 KJV
(Photo credit: http://www.themodernnomad.com/gratitude/)