Grateful

I had no clue I was stuck in my own negativity.

Everything was a problem. Nothing was good enough. There was always something better, something more. My language was negative, and so were my thoughts.

When I was able to slow down, I started to notice all of this. Awareness. I was seeing what was going on in my mind.

It showed up in pessimism and gossip. It was about circumstances and people. All of it originated in my mind. Most of it was directed towards myself.

I listened to an audiobook by Dr. Wayne Dyer. “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” I love him. He inspired me to try something. I found a small notebook and put it in my purse. I had a particularly stressful day ahead of me. I decided I would try to write down every negative thought that came into my head throughout the day. I lasted about an hour. I saw what I needed to see. Pages turning, one after another. It was ALL negative.

Why can’t our house stay clean?
I hate when he does this.
I can’t do anything right.
I am never going to feel better.

It blew my mind. Here I was, trying to do all these things in my life to feel better and what was going on inside my head was like a septic tank. (Sorry, but its true.)

The next day I took that notebook and looked at the thoughts I had written. I brainstormed positive thoughts to replace them.

Why can’t our house stay clean? I’m blessed I have this house.
I hate when he does this. He loves and cares for me.
I can’t do anything right. I’m trying and I have done plenty of things right and here’s a list…
I am never going to feel better. I will feel better, as long as I believe I will.

I had to literally write the positive thoughts down on notecards and carry them around with me. When I found myself going down that negative path, I took out the notecards and rifled through them until I found one that could replace the shitty thought. I would force myself to read it over and over again.

I think this was the day that I started to understand what gratitude really means. I heard so much about being grateful. But what I found here was new, different. It was like a game. Take the shittiest thing you’re dealing with. Take the most negative thought or circumstance. Find the good thing in it. And here’s the deal – THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING GOOD. There’s change, there’s opportunities, there’s growth. Find it.

Doing this rewires your brain. It changes your patterns. I am not writing this from a place where “Everything is peachy keen all the time, Yay!!” I still deal with this every day. But I do find that as time goes on, my mind and my language naturally goes the more positive route. I know there’s some science in action here too that I can’t really explain. Something about neural pathways in your brain. So, this is physical and this is mental. It’s all connected.

You have to slow down enough to catch yourself, and then tell your mind to think differently. Your mind is like a puppy that needs to be trained – an extremely energetic and intelligent puppy. If you don’t train it, that sweet beautiful creature can make your life miserable. Like bouncing off the padded walls crazy. You are letting your mind come to its own conclusions, and those conclusions can be really messed up.

One day I realized that I was naturally inclined to think the best of a situation. THIS DOES NOT MEAN I DO IT ALL THE TIME. It simply means I’m aware and I choose the positive. It feels so much better to think this way.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

My heart is beating. I’m breathing. There is food in my kitchen. I have people who love and care for me. And Mother Nature puts on the most fantastic show every day, if I’m able to slow down enough to see it.

I need to be grateful for all of those little things. My heart needs to know I see them. Because really, they are the big things, the most important things. I had forgotten.

2 Replies to “Grateful”

  1. It is so wild when a word that is so familiar and common takes on a whole new meaning and jumps out at you! Grateful? Grateful… oh, GRATEFUL!!! (And the light comes on… or is that in!)

    Like

  2. Wow, those last 2 paragraphs! For real! For all the times I see Mother Nature putting on a show, my brain sees it, but not always my heart. Need to slow down and let it sink in. Hmmmm….. Thank you.

    Like

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