Being Ungrateful Almost Ruined My Life and Could Ruin Yours Too
I am a spoiled entitled two year old in a 34 year old’s body. Well, at least, I was. I would constantly complain, and still sometimes do, about things that I’m unhappy about and would like to change. I was that person that many people hate, who complained and did nothing about it. It wasn’t until I was deep in one of my weekly rants about how I wanted my life to be different when someone in passing looked at me and said, “Honey, don’t we all.”
For a second, I was angry! How dare she invalidate my feelings by giving me the ‘don’t we all response’. On the way home, I took many deep breaths and ran a quick inventory of my life, looked at it from a broader point of view and thought, ‘it’s really not that bad’. Sure, there are some things I would like to change, but don’t we all?
“Employers are your investors because the are funding the path to your success.”-Lisa Nichols
From that day on, I was inspired. I would start to write down or at least think about a few things I was grateful for everyday. I was on a fast track to ruining my life by letting a pessimistic cloud float over my existence. However, in just a few days, I went from almost ruining my life to improving it. I remember the first day after having my epiphany, waking up for work and staring out into the darkness of my room.
I begrudgingly planted my feet on the floor and instead of holding on to the pity party that I was sure to have the rest of the day because I didn’t want to go to work, I said to myself, “I am so grateful to have a job.” I thought about all the people out there desperately looking for employment. I thought about how lucky I was to have pretty awesome co-workers and how beautiful and peaceful my commute is on the way. Sure, it wasn’t my dream job, but it was a means to an end. I also remembered what Lisa Nichols said about calling her employers her investors because they were funding the path to her success until she could be doing what she really loved. That first week was life changing for me and it can be for you as well.
“You can be hyper aware of everything that’s wrong or hyper aware of everything that’s right.”
When we are not actively practicing gratitude we tend to take many things for granted. You can either be hyper aware of everything that is wrong or hyper aware of everything that’s right, or in the middle, living your life in a perpetual unaware fog. I simply choose to be consciously aware of the good things in my life while also on the path of repairing the not so good.
“This is by far the greatest pyramid scheme I have ever been a part of.”
What are three things that you are grateful for right now? Are they things that you could probably be grateful for on most days? If so, great! This is what I call a baseline to gratefulness. Think of it as the base of a pyramid. At the bottom you would have the things that you would typically have on a daily basis, and as you head towards the tippy top, you have things that you would be grateful for that are unexpected. It can be the smallest thing, but there is normally always something, and if you can’t find one, refer back to your baseline. If you don’t have the baseline, if you’re reading this, you’re breathing and as long as you’re breathing, there is still hope even when it doesn’t feel that way. This is by far the greatest pyramid scheme I have ever been a part of. 🙂
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” ― Alice Walker, The Color Purple
Before starting this process, everyday felt like a ground hog day and I was starting to loathe the monotony each day would bring. However, as I explored being grateful for even the most basic things that I knew many people in this world didn’t have, it warped and changed my experience into a life filled with amazing moments. I just had to pay attention long enough to appreciate it.
In the movie, The Color Purple, there is a quote from the character Suge, she says, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple and don’t notice it.” Similarly, I think it pisses God off when we as people, especially living in this day and age, walk by our blessings and don’t take notice.
I am still on this journey of gratitude and I hope I remain in this place because it’s an exciting and optimistic space to be in. So are you ready to be thankful every day? Here is a journal to get you started.
What are you grateful for right now? That this blog post is over?