It’s called Practice
It’s called “practicing gratitude.” Why? Because it doesn’t come naturally or easily all the time. There are some days where it’s just a fucking pain in the ass. You feel that the whole world is against you. Typical case of Mondays where you’ve spilled your coffee, a nail caught your shirt and ripped a small hole, the dog refuses to go out and pee in the rain, your sunroof is leaking water, etc. Days where the list seemingly goes on and on are difficult enough. And then some mental health guru tells you to stop, slow down, and mediate on your thoughts and such n’ such. Complete bullshit. No one has time to mediate when the world is out to get you.
It’s days like that where having practiced gratitude prior to, helps you cope. There’s no stopping those days once they start. They’re a cascade of emotions from what would otherwise be minor inconveniences if it weren’t that they all tagged teamed together to make your day a living hell. But, if one were to have spent days, weeks, years prior practicing gratitude, then those days are easier. Those days can be better managed and even laughed at even while in the midst of it all.
I’m no saint. I’m no guru. There are days where shit still hits me just as hard (sometimes harder) but for some unknown reason, years ago I started reading philosophy. I started reading about the human capabilities for endurance and survival. It’s helped me with my current situation. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t have bad days. Today is actually one of them, but what helps is to know a couple key things:
- You’re not alone. Others have been through exactly the same thing before. They’ve survived, persevered, and some have even thrived.
- You’re not alone. Yes, a repeat but this time, know that you have many who support you. Friends, family, co-workers; all of these people are people you can reach out and lean on, and they would be glad for the opportunity to help.
- It can always be worse. A lot of times it’ll get worse. I’m not going to sugar coat it and blow rainbows up your ass. It’ll get worse, but even when it gets worse, it could always been even worse than that. Realize that as a human being, you have survived and thrived on this planet for generations. There is nothing that the world can throw at you that you can’t (with a little help) handle.
So practice your gratitude. Practice the understanding that every day we have so much to be thankful for. Small wonders, big wonders. It doesn’t matter. So you spilled some coffee? You still have some coffee in your mug. You can change clothes (thank God you have clothes). You were minimally inconvenienced but who hasn’t spilled a little coffee (See #1), who hasn’t had a friend come to the rescue with more coffee or a change of clothes (see #2), and thankfully it was only coffee and not acid (see #3, okay, not real sure who would be carrying acid around but you get the point, it could be worse).
Practice your gratitude on all days, so that it comes easier on the days you need it the most.