On gratitude for ourselves
Remember when you wanted everything you have now.
Because one day, you’ll have everything you want now.
And you’ll feel the same.
But it’s not enough to just remember when you wanted everything you have now.
We can think, “I’m grateful for what I have. I’m grateful for the people in my life, the opportunities I live, the freedom I have.” We can journal for months, write down lists of things we’re grateful for every day, and still never feel it.
Gratitude is fleeting.
Because often our next thought is, “I’m grateful for everything I have now but…”
…what about all the answers I still don’t have?
…what about all the dreams I’ve still left untouched?
… what about all the ways my life still isn’t enough?
What we’re really thinking is, “I’m grateful for everything I have now but what about all the ways I’m not enough?”
…what about all the answers I’ll never be smart enough to find?
… what about all the dreams I’ll never be good enough to reach?
…what about all the reasons I don’t deserve to have the life I have now?
Gratitude is never really about the external. That part is easy.
It’s easy to love the flaws in others. But the flaws in ourselves are our biggest deal breakers.
It’s easy to appreciate that we have a house to live in. Even if it isn’t perfect, it’s home. But the body we live in is filled with too many imperfections we can’t bear to look in the mirror.
It’s easy to see beauty in the storms and rainy days. But when it’s our thoughts and emotions we can’t control, it’s not so beautiful after all.
It’s even easy to laugh at those days when everything seems to go wrong; missed trains, burnt out lights, unpaid bills & all. But those days filled with panic attacks and those days we can’t think? There’s no laughing at that.
Just looking at our lives for everything we have is only the first small piece of gratitude. It’s easy and it feels good, but it’s fleeting. Of course we should feel grateful for the roof over our heads, the food on our plates, and the people in our lives, but it’s not enough.
To truly feel deep, lasting gratitude that stays with us every moment as we go about our day, we need to be grateful for ourselves.
Don’t just remember when you wanted everything you have now.
Remember when you wanted to be everything you are now.
Remember when you wished you were strong enough to walk head first into uncertainty like you do now. Remember when you wished you understood yourself as well as you do now. Remember when you wished you were kind enough and brave enough for the relationships you have now.
We expect more from ourselves than we do from the world. It’s our greatest blessing and our most painful curse.
When we talk about being content about we have, we’re really talking about being content with who we are.
Until we learn to be grateful for everything we are, we’ll never be grateful for everything we have. There’ll always be a little voice that says “I don’t deserve this. It’s all going to come crashing down”.
Remember when you wanted everything you have now. Because one day, you’ll have everything you want now.
But more importantly…Remember when you wanted to be everything you are now.
That person has come a long way since then.