It’s funny. On our Glass Full of Soul podcast last night we discussed gratitude. We themed it around the timing of the Thanksgiving holiday, but it was a truly nice refresher for me to remind myself that being grateful, in any moment (good or bad), is a very useful tool to feel better, react better, and to get out of the funk that life sometimes brings you.
It was perfectly timed, it seems, that these ideas of practicing gratitude came back into the forefront of my mind. (The podcast comes out next week if you are wondering…follow Glass Full of Soul on Podbean, Podcast Addicts or iTunes!) But after recording the podcast and having a lovely evening with one my best girlfriends, I was confronted with a situation that made me feel hurt and disappointed. I went to bed feeling off and a little anxious.
Obviously when you are disappointed by a situation, an action, or a person, it weighs on you. As a counselor, I feel as though I am always giving people the benefit of the doubt, because seeing both sides and reading between the lines is kind of my job. But sometimes, you just get caught up in emotion and the messages you are receiving beyond the face value of the situation.
The next day, I woke up in the same mindset that I went to bed in. I had done all this talk about gratitude the night before, and here I was harping on a details and feeling upset. I texted a friend to vent (luckily an early riser like me) and it felt good to get it out. When my husband woke up, I vented to him as well. I thought I needed it off my chest and thankfully I have some really wonderful people in my life who were there in that moment. But my text convo ended and my husband left for work and for some reason the venting hadn’t made me feel any better.
So I was faced with myself again and I asked myself the question: “Is this helping or hurting you?” I have a right to my hurt, but what was this doing for my emotions, my health, my day? The answer for me was: I was only hurting myself, and I was doing nothing to move forward and feel better.
I finished getting ready for work and asked myself another question: “What will help you be OK, even just for this moment or this day?” I thought about the podcast we did the prior night and I remembered GRATITUDE. So, I hopped in my car, blasted my favorite artist (Sara Bareilles is EVERYTHING) and attempted to switch my mindset, be grateful, and think about things that mattered and what I DO have, right now, that I am so very thankful for.
Ironically, the first song that came on was a song my husband and I played at our wedding. It’s the most perfect song that describes our relationship and my feelings to a “T” about my husband. I really listened to those lyrics and that melody, and I honestly started to cry. Not because I was sad, but because I had created joy where there had been none. I was SO GRATEFUL for my husband on the way to work that tears for flowing. “Wow, what a beautiful day that was. We have come so far in our relationship. I am so excited moving forward with him.” These were all of the thoughts that ran through my mind.
As I looked out my window, the sun was rising over the mountains in the area that we live, and it was beautiful! It was so alarmingly stunning that I smiled and laughed at the sight. You may think I am corny AF right now, but there was something about this ride to work that spoke to me so clearly. Gratitude IS the answer. Every song that came on that ride to work (you can’t find a bad one by Sara) reminded me of something I am grateful for. Even if it was just the beautiful song, I was grateful to be able to sing along to it and belt out every phrase. Through my happy tears, I managed to change my mindset so drastically with the simple idea of gratitude.
Whatever life is throwing ‘atcha, you can always find something worth something in your life. If something is going wrong, something else is going right. Even if it’s as simple as the beautiful sunrise, it is still going right. Breathe. Say thanks. And remind yourself that this very day is a gift. Sometimes we get reminded of things we really, really need and the reminder of practicing gratitude on our podcast last night – well, I fucking needed that.