Did you know that it’s dang near impossible to feel frustrated and grateful at the same time? The same goes for angry and grateful. Or resentful and grateful. Or unforgiving and grateful. Or defeated and grateful.
So if we know that gratitude is the antidote to many feelings we generally like to avoid in our lives, why is it so hard to implement it? Well, maybe it isn’t hard for you, but it most certainly is a challenge for me.
I FORGET THE POWER OF GRATITUDE
IN MY LIFE!
I am married to an amazing man. On the whole, there is hardly anything wrong with him at all. I am not being facetious; I feel incredibly blessed and count my lucky stars on the regular for this one. That is until I forget this fact entirely and find myself staring into a sink full of neglected dishes like I did this morning. This morning I didn’t feel like he was wonderful. This morning, as I cleaned up his food off the counters and scrubbed dried food out of dishes, I felt a lot of things that would classify as antonyms for gratitude. Can anyone relate?
I read a book once—okay I’ve read it four times at least—called, ‘What’s It Like To Be Married To Me?’ Scary title, huh?! I learned many things from this great book. The art of flipping the switch and finding gratitude and joy in serving this wonderful, however imperfect, man of mine stands out as the greatest lesson. I also learned that while I can’t often change the circumstances I find myself in, and I most certainly can’t change my husband, I can choose my response towards him.
For example, when I was staring at that sink full of dishes, I decided to see it as an opportunity to serve him, as opposed to an opportunity to exercise resentment. What I have found about gratitude is similar to what I have always known about forgiveness: to forgive someone—whether they deserve it or not—has nothing at all to do with the person you’re forgiving. Forgiveness is always for you. The same is true with gratitude. Whether he deserves in that moment to be served by me is irrelevant. Feeling grateful for all the good things that my husband is, will always serve both of us. On the contrary, feelings of resentment never serve my marriage, and they certainly never serve me. Gratitude is one of the most important tools, attitudes, weapons, etc., we have at our disposal. We could all stand to throw into our tool belt.
GRATITUDE, AFTER ALL,
IS KIND OF MAGICAL.
I don’t know about you, but I am going to continue to employ—and maybe even be that much more intentional about—using gratitude in my daily life. While I can’t always control my circumstances, I can control what I choose to focus on.
I’M CHOOSING GRATITUDE.
Written By: Wendy Cunningham