“‘Enough’ is a Feast.” – Buddhist Proverb
Dear Fellow Warrior,
I’ve always had a problem with gratitude.
People saying: “be grateful”, “you are lucky”, “you are blessed.”
Something about it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I know the benefits of having gratitude and counting your blessings, focusing on what you have, versus what you don’t have.
But I like to argue a different perspective. As always.
And that is…. if you are not careful, you may blur the lines.
You may minimize one’s story, one’s struggle, one’s challenges.
It is why I seem to always have a difficult relationship with “gratitude.” So often that I’ve had trouble grasping its virtue.
One suggestion I wanted to apply in my life, obtained from among the many self-help books I read, is to write down 10 things I am grateful for every night.
In the morning, I do the 3 Morning Pages (Julia Cameron), stream of consciousness.
And at night, in theory, I would write the 10 blessings in my life…. In theory.
It worked for a while. But then I stopped.
I remember stopping because those nights I would be writing my dissertation from 11pm to 6am in the morning. Sigh.
I still have trouble with Gratitude.
But even as I have felt the inertia, the block in my creativity and hence productivity today with work and my creative projects, I want to try.
So here are 10 things I am grateful for at the moment (in no particular rank or order):
- The roof over my head.
- Food to eat and water to drink
- Hands and wrists to be able to write with a pen or type.
- Legs to be able to move.
- The “Dignity of Work,” even though I may be losing it soon… I should say, I am grateful for the experience I gained from it.
- Healthy and happy parents.
- My paintings and painting/art supplies.
- People in my life that do care about me (even though I cannot see or feel it sometimes).
- Having my doctorate, dissertation, and the goal to make some impact with it.
- My “dreams,” because they give me purpose, mission, and vision and remind me that there is so much more to explore, contribute and live for in life.
There I did it. Not all that cringe.
I am also with gratitude that I could write to you again sooner. I was having so many regrets with all the choices I have made in my life today.
For some reason it was all piling up today: Not getting married, not finding a lover/partner, not having babies, not submitting my pending publications, not networking strong enough, not putting in more applications during the best academic job market we have seen for political and social scientists the past winter, not having a better handle on finances, not getting my novel finished and published by age 38 as planned, etc.
Thinking about all this can make one easily forget one of the greatest things they should not only appreciate but also celebrate…
And that is surviving, staying alive, and staying resilient. Never giving up.
Even when so many voices are telling you to surrender and give up.
We can definitely have gratitude and still honor our story of survival.
I am with gratitude that I could ‘defy gravity’ and write to you this evening.
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus
Thanks for reading and giving my voice a choice.
Peace, warmth, blessings, and solidarity,
“She wasn’t looking for a Knight. She was looking for a Sword.” – Atticus