A couple of weeks ago, some of my friends started telling me that I look different. Not physically, not socially, not spiritually. It was in my eyes, as if a part of me had died or just ceased to exist. It took me more than a week to figure it out, and although I still think that there’s a lot more going on, I figured out a crucial part of it. My gratitude had died down.
I’ve always been a person that saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I always saw hope for every situation. I chose to see the bright side of every story. It made me more accepting, more welcoming, more homelike.
Over the course of the year, I’ve had to deal with certain realities that challenged this very part of me that in a great sense defined who I am as a person. It got to a point where my hope started to fade, I only saw the circumstances and not the potential beyond it. I saw reality as it is. I saw and had to face rejection, hopelessness, anger, resentment, and my world started getting grey. I had about four semi-burnouts this year alone because of it, because I forgot to sit back and reflect on the positive side of life. My world became dull, I became depressed, and the world’s burdens (or at least, my world’s burdens) started weighing down heavily on me.
It took some serious wake-up calls for me to figure out that I actually had to do something about where I’m at, because I do have places of influence, and if I end up graying out the lives around me, I’d sooner than later find myself with misery’s company.
So I attended a seminar on personal wellness, specifically focusing on the area of gratitude, where they explained the wondrous effects that gratitude has on your personal life and growth. It was so profound that I almost didn’t want to believe it – probably since I’ve lost it completely by then. However, when we started practicing gratitude, I saw and felt its effects in overriding my beliefs about myself, how I see the world, and how I’d approach it.
With the new mindset (or hope for renewal), I entered this week and was challenged beyond my expectations. It was as if every day I had to struggle through mental lies that I started believing about myself in order to get a glimpse of hope, and as soon as I saw a bit of light, the next challenge threw itself upon me so much that I could hardly sleep, and then whenever I did sleep, I slept for over 10 hours. Not a healthy approach to life, but it certainly showed me that something was happening. It was like I was seeing both sides of the Law of Attraction – struggling between still believing the lies of unworthiness and trying to create a new truth to believe in, both pulling the universe’s forces into different directions with me standing in the middle.
I started writing letters this week to people that I have close connections with, but in these letters, my struggle came down on paper as half of what I wrote seemed to be almost-love-letter words of gratitude, while the rest of it were words of resentment and anger and hurt. I didn’t send these letters, because it was more a message to me than to them. And I got the message.
It’s been a while since I’ve actively pursued gratitude itself. Over the course of this whole year, I’d usually find myself running towards something that would make me happy, while forgetting and taking for granted what I already have. That’s what used to make me authentic – the way I used to look at situations and, regardless of how difficult the circumstances seemed, I’d have always been able to crack a smile at it and walk into it with a “que sera, sera” attitude. I always knew that I’d either have a victory or a valuable lesson at the end of it, so I used to walk into things with gratitude as my guard.
Moving back into it, I’ve had to – and still am – face some demons. Reality is a very scary thing if you don’t have a positive view on life. Self-destruction seems to be lurking around every corner. Logic and reason appear to be close friends of depression. Assumptions crush your perspective on others while comparison absolutely just crushes your self-worth.
It is a fight, but its victory is sweet. Starting to cultivate gratitude again has already brought a bit of favour to my door. As misery loves its company, so does gratitude. Most of us know people on both sides of the spectrum – those who find life harder than it seems to be, but they reason it out so that you’d believe their view on it, and then there are those who just get the good things in life – they rarely, if ever, complain, people bless them out of their socks, they attract love like it belongs to them and it’s like they just radiate the sun’s light into a room when they enter.
It’s a choice. Not an easy one, but it’s one that’s worth sacrificing the negativity for. It’s a lifestyle, a practice, a belief system and a paradigm that’s powerful enough to change the world around you.