Some say gratitude, I say awareness

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty over hearing every article that goes viral instructing me to be grateful. Yes, being grateful for all that you have can remind you of things that you take for granted. It can help you focus on all you have versus what you think is missing. Yadda yadda, I get it.

But, let’s face it, sometimes we just do not authentically feel grateful. Sometimes we have a really crappy day, a disastrous week, or even a painful month. And, I don’t know about you, but the last thing that I want in those moments is to force myself to be grateful. I want to honor what I’m feeling in those rough moments.

I want to honor what I’m going through without getting stuck in a rut.

So, instead of forcing myself to feel grateful when I’m not authentically feeling gratitude, I’ve been choosing to instead bring more awareness into the picture by reminding myself that everything is temporary.

Why? Because it feels more authentic, more ‘right,’ for me to be more aware of this fact, to remind myself that whatever I am experiencing will not last, rather than force myself to be in a state that I’m not ready to be in.

What goes up must come down and what goes down must come up.

Nothing in life is stagnant, all eventually moves, even if you don’t move with it, life moves on with or without  you.

And, when we are in a place where life doesn’t look so pretty, we prolong the way we are feeling by trying to find quick fixes or tricking ourselves into believing that we aren’t feeling as badly as we are in that moment.

Because, no one wants to be sad, or hurt, or disappointed, or angry. And, there is pressure from society that you not be gloomy; no one likes a party pooper. You should just ‘suck it up,’ ‘get over it,’ or realize that things are simply ‘not that bad.’

Our society in general has a difficult time embracing uncomfortable feelings and does not hold much tolerance for both themselves and others when they surface.

And, so, they recommend  band-aids, such as creating a list of all things in your life for which you are grateful, a quick fix to feel better.

But the reality is that the only way you work through those uncomfortable feelings, through the more difficult times in your life, is by riding it out.

When we run, avoid, rush ourselves into feeling better, we prolong, but when we allow ourselves to feel the uncomfortableness that is when progress is made.

Uncomfortabless is just that: uncomfortable. So when I’m riding through these phases in life, these phases that no one is immune to, that is when I call forth my awareness, an awareness that reminds me that this uncomfortable ride is temporary.

It makes it easier to hang in there through the process, knowing that it will not last.

This doesn’t mean that I discount recognizing how fortunate I am to have all that I have, it does not mean lacking gratitude, it means allowing myself to honor how I authentically feel even if it is difficult and not forcing myself to be in a place where I am not.

Gratitude does wonders for us, study after study has shown this, but it is not a substitute for riding out and working through whatever is ailing us.

Gratitude is a component of healing, but it is not healing itself.

What are your thoughts on authenticity and gratitude?



12 thoughts on “Some say gratitude, I say awareness”

  1. I like to give feedback and gratitude is small does and when it feels genuine. The frequency always depends on the person or situation. Sometimes articles on gratitude are nice to find new ways to do so, but I typically find them annoying. Just because I don’t declare I love my mother on Facebook doesn’t mean I don’t.

    1. Yes, I think you nailed it: genuine. Gratitude can’t really do much for us when we don’t authentically feel it!

  2. This is so true. I hate trying to force myself to feel grateful for something, because it feels fake and untrue. Instead I try to be authentic and real about the situation and try to think of one good thing when everything seems to be going wrong.

    1. Yes! I think it’s best to allow yourself to feel how you feel and know that whatever you’re feeling will pass on through.

  3. loved this post! I also think sometimes being grateful is a hard emotion to force – you either are or you aren’t, and you shouldn’t be made to feel guilty when you aren’t!

  4. Authenticity is so important when facing a major challenge in life, if we choose to ignore how we are feeling and instead cover it up with a ‘band aid’, it will always be there just under the surface, never having been dealt with!

    1. Completely agree- quick fixes are just that – quick fixes, not solid solutions. We can run around in circles, but not until we walk through do we get the solace we need. 🙂

  5. I loved this perspective! Gratitude is a tool that we have in those periods of uncomfortableness, which suck but you’re so right we don’t need Band-aids. We just need to get through it.

    1. Thanks, Angie! It’s tough not to go for the quick fixes, but ultimately so much better for us in the long run when we don’t. 🙂

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