HOW GRATITUDE DEFEATS THE BAD STUFF

To move forward when life throws mega blows  at you, you need to have learned the art of gratitude; just as there is summer, there is also winter, and then spring.

gratitude

Emotional fitness is not about denying hurt; trying to is futile and only drives it underground where it builds up steam and erupts.  Emotional fitness is about feeling your feelings, seeing them as tools for leaning, or moments to be enjoyed and building the tools you need to survive a life blow, what the experts call trauma.

Trauma is best defined as something painful that changes you forever.  Feelings serve as signals and painful ones accompanying trauma  stop you from feeling anything but the pain.   You can only cry or howl.

However, in time you move on.  Some move on by getting angry, others numb out, others howl in despair or cry knowing their hearts have been broken; their lives changed forever.

I am one who cries, and it is always with thinking ” I will never be able to stop my tears.”  Not what happens.  Life blows get you howling or crying for far longer than you like. Some weep uncontrollably for what seems like hours.  I go for about twenty minutes in spurts that last for days, but each day the time between the tears or howling grow longer.

The goal all should strive for is to express the pain as pain. However,  some never cry, but rage. Anger is a shield against hurt.  Feeling the hurt is more productive but not if you wallow in as a victim.

Our genes often determine how long it takes to stop the tears or anger or despair that visits along with life blows.

The more we are able to persist in getting a job done, the more likely we have genes involved in the trait called persistence by the experts.  Persistence is a mega talent in many ways – some say it is the key to success. Now so helpful when trying to let go of pain and move on.

The traits passed on to us in our genes are not set in stone and can be modified and often are as we grow.   Learning to be grateful for the good when dealing with  a double-edged swords like being both blessed and cursed with persistence is one practicing gratitude.. For more about temperament visit this Parents Are People Too blog post. Take the temperament test.

HOW TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Before the bad times come make a list of all you have to be grateful for – life, food, love, a beautiful world, friends, surviving bad times, good memories, pets, even material possessions. I am grateful for my computer and for access to the Internet, for my books, for my old, but still running car.

Be specific. When being thankful for the people in your lives,  list them by name and the gift each brings.  Some friends bless you in one way; others bless you in other ways.  Even the worse parent can be thanked for giving you life.

When you have made your list, get comfortable, then take a deep slow breathe  in and  as you breathe out say “Thank you” while thinking of something on your list.  Breathe normally for a few moments and then thank something else exactly as you thanked the first. When you have said “Thank you” at least three times,  say a general thank you, smile and go about your day. .

You can never say “Thank you” enough. As Elizabeth Gilbert notes, “In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”

Gratitude is best practiced off and on throughout the day. Every time someone does something for you, say “Thank you” aloud. When someone rings up your purchases or packs your groceries, or holds a door say, “Thank you” Thank inanimate objects. Say “Thank you” when something works. Say “Thank you” when things go your way. Say “Thank you” when you see something of beauty. Say “Thank you” when you hear some beautiful or inspiring music. When you smell a whiff of fresh air, or the scent of a flower, or the aroma of fresh coffee or hot chocolate, say “Thank you.”

All that is good in this world is a gift and saying “Thank you” extends the gift.

And thank pain for the lessons it gives. There are always lessons.

parenting tip

As always what you do matters most, so say  “Thank you” when practicing gratitude in your child’s presence.  You do not have to thank bad behavior, but should always say it when the bad behavior stops.

IMPROVE YOUR CRITICAL THINKING

DAILY PROMPT  Last Words: You have the chance to write one last post on your blog before you stop blogging forever. Write it.

Can you guess what mine would be? A “Thank You” Post in the form of a good bye letter and it would begin with Charles Lee’s Gratitude poerm.

What would you write in such a letter?

Links of interest

FREE POSTER COACHES 

Don’t think you can afford a life coach? Like a life coach, EFTI’s poster coaches inspire, teach, motivate, and reinforce thinking about what matters.  To use, print up in color and post there it will be seen often.  Poster Coaches can also be used at  Family Meetings to start a discussion about what matters.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Keep working to stay strong, I work hard to do the same . As noted above,  I am not perfect, no one is and this week;s post will be all about praising imperfection.

Remember’s sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Thank you.

Katherine

Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.