I have written and re-written this post so many times in the last three weeks that I am saying F*ck it and here goes my thoughts in one shot – so bear with me, there will be no double checking, no editing just pure rambling goodness.

In my last post I mentioned that the biggest thing jealously takes away from us is the ability to be grateful.

But why is being grateful so important in the first place?

It’s important because it is a fundamental building block to joy and happiness. I mean think about it, when you are feeling really awesome, and I mean good, really good – do you most often then not, think – how lucky am I? How great is this? I am thankful, I am grateful.

I know I do – I have been fortunate enough to have a lot of amazing people in my life. Each of my friends brings a different flavor, spice and support that I wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for them. When I have a rough day, whether it’s beating myself up for something, just feeling blue or having something not great happen – I stop and I think of a few select people and say thanks to the universe for giving them to me.

And every time I take a moment to spend time on gratitude – I fill my cup, I feel more focused and more resilient.

When we spend too much time wallowing, or allowing ourselves to focus on the negative, we lose perspective, we lose sight of the positive. In losing sight of the positive, we lose our joy and happiness. Now I’m not saying don’t be a realist, because I am 100% one of those. What I am saying is that even when things are awful or feel totally out of control or lost, there is something or someone to be grateful for. It might be from the present, it might be from the past but every one of us has something we can be grateful for.

I wanted to write about this because I had a good conversation about my triangle peg in a round and square world post. The person I was speaking with understood how I felt and had similar struggles, they said focusing on gratitude helped. It took some time but it made me realize that part of me can often get too wrapped up in how things ‘should’ be and because of this I am not grateful for how things are.

Now you can’t be grateful for every situation but I applied this line of thinking to a few monumental failures in my life and think that had I been able to re-frame them it’s possible that I could ‘let things go’.

One such thing was my marriage, I allowed myself to get so bogged down by the seeming disparity that I wasn’t able to appreciate my husband at the time. By all means we did not have a perfect relationship but I do think that had my focus been on shared memories, good times and gratefulness then we could have had more time to work through our other areas needing improvement.

I know gratitude makes a difference because in my current relationship, we both make a point of saying thank you or showing appreciation in ways the other can receive them. I am not a words person, I think it’s easy to say thank you but showing someone you are grateful and making sure your actions match your feelings means more. I am a better partner now then I was in my previous marriage because I learned so much about myself and although it was the hardest, saddest thing to go through I am grateful because I am better for it.

I have also seen a difference when I am at work. When I have been lucky enough to be on a team where each member can appreciate each other as individuals and be grateful for what each person brings to the team, is when I have felt the most success.

On the flip side, when I have allowed myself to dwell on what is going wrong or not feeling appreciated I lose my own gratitude for my work. I let myself lose focus of the good. What others will say to me is to ‘let it go’ and this doesn’t work for me because as I have said before, I care a lot or too much but what I think I need to remember next time is to focus on what I have to be grateful for.

Nothing is perfect, not everything is awesome, sometimes nothing seems even good but as I said before there is something; there is always something past or present where you can find gratitude, and in that something you can invent resilience.

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