Gratitude Rises from The Ashes

I admit, for a while now I have been burnt out on gratitude.

I got high on joy, a few years ago, listing all the things I was grateful for. Then I had a nasty hangover.

The problem was that I was invoking all the things I thought I should feel grateful for. Not the things I was grateful for. I wasn’t honoring my own feelings.

It’s like the difference between reading poetry because it’s beautiful and it speaks the language of your soul, and reading it because you heard it is intellectual and you want to keep up in snobby conversations.

One is enlivening and wonderful. One is soul-sucking and awful.

But I have found gratitude again, and, well, I’m grateful for it.

The trick is to list a few things, 3-7, that you are really, truly grateful for. And then share them with someone. I think the sharing is the best part. It makes it real.

Keep the things unique, edgy, yours, and explain why you’re grateful for them. That will keep you authentic and protect you from the ravages of gratitude burnout.

Personally, I tend to be a bit negative. I tend to look at all my shortcomings, my problems, the things I haven’t finished today, the people I’ve let down.

Gratitude is great because it cuts right through all of that. It’s like going outside on a beautiful day. It reminds you that there is a whole universe of wonder right there, all around you, and the things you get lost thinking about are not so big after all.

So, in the interest of full disclosure, here is my gratitude for yesterday:

  1. I’m grateful for meeting and talking to my neighbor, having a great conversation, and discovering we both have little boys in common. I’m excited to have someone nearby to be friends with, and I’m relieved because I didn’t think they even liked me.
  2. I’m grateful for a great conversation about babies with my Mom.
  3. I’m grateful for getting out of my funk and enjoying life again.
  4. I’m grateful for the way the universe keeps showing me doors when I think I’m about to fall flat on my face.
  5. I’m grateful for the little tiny grasshoppers in my yard – they are so cute!

If you want to play too, I’d love it if you shared something you are grateful for today in the comments!

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