If you are an eternal optimist this particular blog will not make a whit of sense. It might even get on your grateful nerves, because you can’t imagine why folks need help to be bright eyed and bubbly. Your theme song seems to be “Buck up Buttercup, the days getting ready to bloom.”
But for those of us in the Whiny Girl’s Club we understand that optimism is not natural for us, its not even a distant relative of ours.
I have found gratitude grows best if, ahead of our expectations for ourselves and others, we amend the soil of our heart with determination. Yep, gratitude is not a fuzzy feeling that descends on us from a fluffy cloud, honest, but it is more a badge of bravery, truly.
Gratitude means we celebrate our circle of people because we see the best parts of them first and we can hardly wait to throw our pocket full of confetti (not rocks) in their direction…which means we hardly notice that our hubby, once again, forgot our birthday, or that our co-worker took full credit for what we accomplished together, or that the puppy peed in our shoe right after we took her out.
But really who is thankful for those oversights and aggravations? I dare say even the most positive among us feel a tad rankled.
From my observations though the difference between “them” (the confetti crowd) and “us,” (the rock and rollers) is they don’t think the worst first, they don’t set themselves up for disappointment by pinning their hopes on someone else’s behavior, and they don’t absorb inconveniences as a reason to have a bad day.
Which is why gratitude is a badge of bravery for those of us who don’t find it easy or inherent. We must make up our mind to not be thin-skinned, over sensitive, and moody, because life is neither predictable or convenient. Some of us are absorbers and take too much personally and deeply, and we can nurse it into a full on grudge. We (I) need to practice letting the little stuff go until it becomes more natural for us (me) to respond gratefully.
Wait. Who am I kidding? It may never be flat out natural for us, but we can improve with discipline and determination and by learning the art of forgiveness, which means we fire the grudge-nurse and get on with our lives.
The Bible tells us we need to gird up (strengthen) our minds, so to me, Ms Whiney Britches herself, as a new day breaks I need to prepare my thoughts so I consciously enter the day mentally equipped for real life, which may include disagreements, a change of plans, and pop-up clamor.
I find memorization and meditation in God’s Word shores up my courage and strengthens my resolve to keep trying. And naming aloud some of the things I am most thankful for seems to grow my gratitude list and shields my heart from pettiness. Singing songs of thankfulness also helps…or even a hum can help keep our heart optimistic.
How long has it been since you hummed your way through a day? Be brave and purpose a happy hum, it helps…truly.
Verses of gratitude and determination; Psalms 77:11-14