Gratitude without Rainbows and Meadows

When was the last time you were feeling ungrateful? It's hard to admit but be brave for a minute. You know you should be grateful but it's hard when it's an ordinary day and there are things in your life that aren't going well. We sometimes associate gratitude with a cheerful disposition. We get so annoyed when others who always seem grateful, have rainbows spilling out of their ears and they're skipping through a Tuesday like they're in a meadow with colorful streamers trailing behind them.

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How can you feel cheerful when so much in your life seems wrong or out of balance? You're feeling overwhelmed by too many responsibilities and problems and the three-ring circus that is your life. You don't have time to feel grateful. How can we be thankful for an ordinary day full of the same messy circumstances?

I feel ya' and I'm right there with you. I get it.

And even when I'm feeling this way, when the alarm goes off, the first thing I do is list 3 blessings. I absolutely do this -- even when I don't wanna' and I'd rather pull the pillow over my head. Every morning before I reach for my phone and start scrolling, and before I have a cup of coffee or take a shower -- I lie in bed and think of 3 good things. Just 3. As I'm yawning and wiping my eyes from the crusty remains of allergies, I take a mental inventory of 3 things for which I am thankful. Do you know what happens? I almost always list more than 3. Gratitude helps your attitude and gets your day heading in a positive direction...(without rainbows and meadows.)

But throughout the day -- the ordinary days when we feel like we're in the hamster wheel, doing the same thing, going to the same places, seeing the same people, buying the same food -- we forget to be grateful for doing those things and seeing those people and eating the same foods.

We forget to be thankful because we overlook the blessing's simplicity. When I look through my kitchen cabinets and refrigerator deciding what to make for dinner (again because the people who live with me ask every -- single -- day - what are we having?) I slow down and think for a moment how many people don't have food in their pantry, or working appliances, or no one to share a meal with them. They're lonely which is a horrible hunger too. Suddenly the chore of making dinner for my family isn't a chore at all. It's a blessing.

I'm going to try and appreciate all of the normal events of the day and treasure the daily blessings. It's not easy - I don't always succeed and some days we just feel grumpy and out of sorts. It's okay. We're human. Forgive yourself and move on. Take time to appreciate the ordinary days, the boring days, the uneventful days because you'll want them back when you face pain mixed in with the beautiful ordinary moments. It's easy to give up and say I don't have anything to be grateful for and some days its hard to keep trying to find the good. Do it anyway. #alwaysbegrateful