“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” ~Hafez
Have you seen the gratitude jar challenge? This is where you write one thing a day to be grateful for and place it safely in a jar. Then, at the end of the year, you pull everything out and savor a year of gratitude as you re-read all the delicious moments you have had. I have done it. It’s wonderful.
Someone asked me the other day if I thought a gratitude jar made any difference at all. If so, what would it do?
I usually am a good listener and allow folks to get their entire thought expressed without any interruption, but I didn’t do so well with that question. Before she was able to get all her thoughts articulated my response was a huge YES. We laughed at my over eager response and then I elaborated. When we are grateful, there is only room for present moment, satisfying, feeling good…happiness. Seriously. Gratitude is an absolute game changer for mood and overall life satisfaction.
Because here’s the point…. You deserve a life that is full of gratitude. Imagine for a second… if you always felt gratitude. How you might interact with others in your life. I’ll bet you would be more loving, more kind, more flexible and open to change. You would be a better listener, more in touch with others, and truly, deep down, you would be a happier soul. You deserve that. You deserve big heaping doses of that.
I must admit that I am not doing a gratitude jar this year. I am participating though! I am logging my daily gratitude in a date book. I’ll review it on New Year’s Eve and let my heart remember how beautiful 2017 was for me. I’m starting before the year gets going. There will be challenges for sure. That’s what life is full of and that’s OK. I’ll be busy looking for the little moments to say thank you for. And that will change my entire outlook on whatever may come.
Join me. Get a jar, journal, whatever you want to use to record the gratitude.
Let’s let happiness catch us,
Have you ever had a question you just INSISTED be answered? Maybe it was about why the horrible breakup happened, why your body or mind won’t stop hurting, why the job didn’t work out as planned, or a plethora of other life situations you want to understand.
Well…. I have. Many times.
And with the question “WHhhhhYyyyy???” came a hypothesis or two. Maybe, I figured, it was because it was all my fault anyway, life was just painful, other people would hurt me if I let them, or I didn’t deserve any better. There are lots of wild thoughts that can run through our brains when we are focused on the why. I’ve created quite a few doozies in my day…
Our imaginations begin to ping pong those ideas around in our heads. Truly. Those thoughts can rack up a high score on the toughest of internal pinball machines. The game isn’t fun or entertaining though. It’s agony.
I’ve tried to be a good student in life school with this concept and perhaps there are some reasons why the head games we play need to stop. Maybe there are some valid reasons to stop needing to understand.
1 – There is no healing until the thoughts slow down. Yep, you heard it right. Think about the moment when your thoughts won’t stop and one question leads to another question. As those thoughts move around so does your body’s response. Anxiety rises, depression increases, anger blossoms, despair and hopelessness grow. This is not the space where healing occurs. We heal in a slower, softer, kinder, gentler place inside ourselves.
2 – The answer will never be sufficient for the question. There are just some questions that can’t be answered. There will never ever be an answer that satisfies why someone hurt you, broke your heart, took advantage of you, didn’t stick around. There is NOTHING that can be explained away to a shattered heart that makes that OK. Answers like that don’t exist.
3 – I’m not ready for the answer. Sometimes we can’t understand all the pieces in front of us because we couldn’t handle the answer if it showed up. We may not be ready for the accountability piece, the very necessary part of healing where we don’t accept blame, but we do accept our own behavior – our part in this perfect storm.
4 – There is no way to understand all that may come later. I’m not a big believer in “all things happen for a reason”, but I do know that just because life is a hot mess today doesn’t mean that it will be tomorrow. And, I really really really believe that the toughest moments in life can teach us the greatest lessons.
5 – There is a different lesson I need to learn right now. Here’s where you and I are powerful. Really powerful. What if the question doesn’t need to be the wailing “why” but rather “what can I learn about myself right now”? When we move out of needing to understand events – the content of our life – and into our internal process…. well…. that’s an awesome place and it’s exactly where healing ignites and flames.
There is healing in your questions,