Resisting Gratitude

As I sat down to write I thought, “I can capture some of what I’ve been grappling with recently in a gratitude list.” An instant later, I felt a strong rejection of this idea course through me – a very clear ‘No! I am NOT grateful for this week!” Which made me smile, because in this moment I am actually feeling grateful for much of what I learned, even if not yet for the experiences themselves.

I’m grateful for…

Staring some of my deepest fears and vulnerabilities in the face, taking a deep breath, and not running from them as I often have in the past.

Seeing so clearly that when I receive tough feedback from someone, I can’t see why they would want to stay in my life when they see such flaws in me (which I have, naturally, been trying to camouflage in the hopes that no one would ever see them and I would thus remain an acceptable part of society). However, instead of shutting them out and running away, I remembered in time that a) most of us feel that way when we feel exposed and b) I don’t feel that way when I see flaws in the people I care for.

Remembering to say “thank you” instead of “I’m sorry.”

stop-saying-sorry-say-thank-you-comic-yao-xiao-8stop-saying-sorry-say-thank-you-comic-yao-xiao-5

(credit: Yao Xiao)

Feeling the strong pull for distraction and external validations, and choosing to turn inwards to my own resources instead.

Reminding myself that I can’t achieve growth without grappling with a few particularly tricky, sneaky shadows along the way.

Staying connected to the fact that however stressed and overwhelmed I feel sometimes, I love my work very much, and it’s never long before I reconnect with that joy; and that however much I may get down occasionally about all I haven’t managed to get done, there is an even longer list of things I HAVE achieved.

Leaning into my fear, and letting it drive my innovation rather than push me into immobilisation.

Telling myself a couple of days ago – at a point that I REALLY needed to hear and believe it – that I can’t and don’t have to be perfect; I am enough, even when I make mistakes, and if I never made mistakes I’d never grow. Interestingly, I couldn’t accept a similar message from someone else today, when I was wrapped up once again in just not being good enough – but a few hours later, I can step back and find the truth within once again.

The gentle support of my wonderful husband, who drew me out of myself to talk about my day and what I have been struggling with, which helped lighten my heart and give me a sense of perspective.

Life’s reminders, coming from different angles and in different forms, that I have been too caught up in my head, and would do well to unwind back into the world.

Digging past my resistance to find my gratitude.

Picking myself up to try again tomorrow.

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