On Gratitude: How can we be grateful for bad things?
My recent posts have been less positive than usual because that’s been my reality. Writing my last post on how angry I felt helped me figure out what I was feeling so I could feel it properly and let it go a little bit.
A friend recommended the Calm app to me so I’ve been having a go at some of the things it offers. The sleep stories are really nice, they give me something to focus on and relax to and have helped me fall asleep! One of the featured stories was ‘Gratitude’ which was fitting for what I was planning to write about.
Listening as the story takes you outside, down to a beach to look at the night sky full of stars and the narrator lists everything in the world we have to be thankful for I reminded myself that I have so much to be grateful for, even while things aren’t going my way.
So how can we be grateful for something bad?
That’s difficult to answer and no one is the same, of course.
Some may not feel gratitude at all for the things that happen. They hold on to the anger and allow it to grow into resentment for what’s happened to them.
Some choose another path. They look at everything as an opportunity and move on quickly, embracing something new.
Some are a little of both, like I am right now I suppose. Angry at the circumstances they find themselves in and hoping to find a new opportunity to make it all worthwhile.
We choose our own path.
So where’s the silver lining?
No one makes our choices for us. It’s up to us to find our own silver lining in the situations we are in – either situations we have had a hand in creating ourselves or ones imposed on us by others.
While I’m angry at the way my redundancy is being handled, I’m also grateful for never having to return there. It sounds contradictory doesn’t it? But knowing I’ll be free of a place that treats people badly helps me create my silver lining and allows me to hope that I’ll find somewhere better where I can feel good about what I’m doing.
I’m also grateful that, because of my furlough these past months, I’ve got money in savings already that will give me a little more time to find something I truly want to do. I’m even more grateful because I know a lot of people aren’t in a position that allows them to do that.
I’m grateful for not having children in the midst of this pandemic and while so much is up in the air for me financially, emotionally, and mentally. On the days I struggle to do anything I’m content knowing in my heart children wouldn’t be something I can handle.
I’m grateful for having an awesome support network to check in on me. I’m also grateful I have free time to check in on them and am available if they need help.
I’m grateful for the ability to steer myself onto a better path. One that will be more positive and gratifying than the anger I feel.
I believe we have control over our circumstances, especially on how walk through and come out the other side of them. I also believe the old saying ‘everything happens for a reason’ for most things in life – not everything.
What’s the lesson?
Basically when crappy things happen, for whatever reason, it’s up to us to choose how to react. Identifying my anger will eventually lead the way to being okay with how everything ends up instead of igniting some resentment that will eat away at me for years to come.
So whatever’s going on, ask yourself what you have to be grateful for, where’s the silver lining, and what can I learn from this? It can make all the difference!