The Uncommon Gratitude

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During this time of year, especially, the topic of gratitude is everywhere.  'If we all just count our blessings every day, we'll be happy!'  I don't disagree, but what if we take it one step further? What if we found gratitude for the things, events, and characteristics in ourselves and others that don't feel like blessings, that we don't even like?  What if finding this uncommon gratitude brought us even deeper peace, even happiness?

I talk about this in regards to rejection in my latest guest post here.

The truth is, we can't absolutely know for sure if having different events, things, or characteristics would actually get us any closer to where we think we want to be.  The truth is...


 

The choice is ours.

If I let my inner naysayer go wild I can find all sorts of things I don't like: my high C, my husband's snoring, my daughter's tantrum, fast coloratura passages, too spicy food, a car accident, my (recovering) perfectionism... the list could go on for pages.

But when I shift perspective and look for the gratitude in each item I find that the naysayer quiets down or even goes away.

I am grateful for my high C as it reminds me of my limits and where I can continue to work, my husband's snoring that helps me to know when he's extra tired or stressed and may need extra love, my daughter's tantrums that are a cry for help that I can meet with compassion, fast coloratura passages that encourage me to loosen and free up and even laugh, too spicy food reminds me of how wonderful water is, a car accident that reminds me of the preciousness of life and to try and live every moment well, my perfectionism that attunes me to the details and helps my students and I move toward our potential...

And when the naysayer is quiet, I am, truly, happy.

It's your turn!

3 Steps to Finding Uncommon Gratitude

1) Get out a piece of paper and make two columns.

2) In the left column write down whatever you can think of that you don't like right now, that doesn't feel like a blessing.

3) In the right column write down the perspective shift - how you can be grateful for whatever is in the left column.

Some may be easier than others to shift, but even questioning and examining will help to loosen the neural ruts in your brain and quiet the naysayer.

What's your most challenging or illuminating uncommon gratitude?  Share in the comments below!