Gratitude was one of the earliest influencers in my journey of healing. After hitting a point of pure desperation, being grateful for even the smallest of things became easy. When I was finally awarded a bed, a decent meal, safety and dignity- I was genuinely overwhelmed with appreciation. If not for the lack, I would not have recognized the value, an increasingly familiar story for every single person on this planet.
It is all too easy to fall into complacency, and forget about what we are grateful for. After a week of perceived failures, miscommunications and anxieties- I found myself spiraled out of control. Fear and insecurities breeding negativity and resentments. Before I knew it- I had entirely lost sight of my capacity to be grateful. I was blinded by every shortcoming, and the beautiful world around me became clouded with heavy emotions.
And then, I was reminded. I was reminded that- the more negativity I was allowing in, the worse off things were becoming. When you focus all your attention on the perceived negatives, you literally train your brain to look for those shortcomings. You are creating a negative reality for yourself- one that is unsubstantiated and keeps you stuck.
We can do the opposite through gratitude. We can literally, rewire our brains to see all the positive, beauty and wonder through gratitude.
In my journey to healing, no matter how uncomfortable each step was I was grateful. That gratitude for simply being alive and functioning in society, moved me through each day and excited me. It changed the way I perceived my world, and allowed for more good into my life.
Gratitude has become something of a trend-worthy topic of late, due to #blessed and #grateful.
While it is actually amazing, that so many people are recognizing it’s value- I want to make a distinction. I am not talking about the contrived, cutesy social media posts that declare both your love and gratitude for your fancy coffee drink or expensive meal.
I’m talking real, down to earth, sincere and conscious gratitude. The kind of gratitude that lives buried deep in your chest, the kind that truly moves you and is shown through action and demeanor. Not just hashtags and gratitude journals. This kind of gratitude radiates from the smiles of those you can tell, are truly grateful.
Gratitude can look and feel an infinite amount of ways. Regardless of the exact specifics of how it looks to you, genuine gratitude shows up. It shows up when you are met with challenge, faced with complacency or shown disregard. It shows up, as a commitment to embracing all that is well, right now in each given moment. It becomes a way to live your life, a way to view your world and a way to behave.
When we are truly grateful, we act like it.
What are you grateful for? What moves you in recovery? How do you access gratitude?