Most of us generally try to be grateful for what we have in our life and our loved ones. Recognizing the joy and strengths in our lives tends to bring us more happiness and contentment. It enables a person to keep hope even in tough situations. I believe appreciating and recognizing our haves is good and necessary.
Sometimes, though, the constant message to be thankful can get in the way of acceptance, healing and change. It is almost as if I may feel wrong to be frustrated or angry or sad because I could have it worse. I am grateful to have family and friends but that doesn’t preclude being frustrated or hurt by a friend or family member. Being grateful for a person doesn’t mean that you should stay in a rough relationship or that a current relationship doesn’t have to change.
I am grateful to have a job. I hear time and time again from people how miserable they are but that they know they should be grateful to be working because of the economy. Being thankful to have a job doesn’t discount the possibility that the job isn’t right for you or that you are causing yourself more harm than good by working there. Does being thankful allow you to stay in a work situation that doesn’t fit, where there is bullying, disrespect or even ethical concerns.
I am all for being thankful. Finding the positives will inevitability allow a person to tap into more happiness than focusing on the negatives. However, some days are rough and acknowledging that doesn’t make you selfish. Don’t let gratefulness get in the way of moving forward or making a change. Know that on some days life might suck and that is OK. It is OK for you to be angry or sad and still be grateful. Gratefulness does not mean you won’t have any uncomfortable or rough feelings. Gratefulness does not equal complacency. Recognize the good but don’t use it as an excuse of why your life and situations can’t improve. Instead let frustration, sadness and desire for change live aside being grateful.
Now to one of my new favorite quotes…