August 2nd: Gratitude

I used to keep a gratitude journal on a nightly basis. I could always see, when looking back through the pages, when I had had a good day and been in a calm, spiritual place… and when it had been a bad day and I was withdrawn and dismissive.

On the good days, my gratitude list would include things like: my healthy children, my Higher Power, my home, my job, my intelligence, and my strength.

On a bad day, my list would say: pizza, this bed, being left alone.

I used to thumb through the pages and see how many days I had been truly grateful and how many days I had gone without gratitude.

I had to laugh at the days when all I could list was a piece of pizza but, at least it was something.

When I began to go through a really trying time during my divorce, I stopped keeping my gratitude journal.

I neglected my daily practice and I became more and more obsessed with my husband and what he was doing.

I was sure that his “new” life was so much better than mine… that he had everything that he had ever dreamed of and I had nothing.

I could not believe my lack of gratitude.

My sister reminded me one day that my situation could have been so much worse.

I snapped back, “Oh I see, life gives me lemons so I should make lemonade right?”

She paused a moment and then said, “No, that isn’t what I am saying. I am saying that you are a young, beautiful, talented woman. A woman who has an education and a job. A woman who has two beautiful children who love her and want to be with her. A woman who has a home, a car, and food on the table. A woman who has friends and family to support her in this troubled time. I’m just reminding you, that many people who walk through divorce, do not have these things. They lose their homes. They lose their children. They have no job, no education, no friends or family to help them through. You have a lot to be grateful for today.”

She was right.

I was so busy worrying about what my husband might have that I could not even see what I did have.

That night, I began to keep my gratitude journal again. It is a daily reminder of how much I have to be grateful for and it keeps me from losing sight of the miracles in my day-to-day life.

“Dear God, help me to keep an “attitude of gratitude.” When I feel that I have nothing to be grateful for, help me to take an inventory of my life and find the good in all that I do have.”

9 thoughts on “August 2nd: Gratitude

  1. I had neglected the consideration for gratitude. One can become emotionally one dimensional during times of such pain and instability.
    You are right.
    I’ve had nightmares of how my soon to be ex will is living a perfect existence without me and with his new love interest.
    And that my life and self are diminished.
    I have friends, I’m not broke, I’m considering looking into a new job after doing the same thing for over twenty years, and I’m starting to heal and continue to lose weight.
    I’m starting to incorporate meditation and yoga into my life on a more regular basis.
    Time to heal and accept change.
    Thank you again for sharing your experiences here.

  2. Yes… gratitude does make a difference… and I love when you say that you are healing and continuing to lose weight… you know as soon as I let go of my ex and moved into acceptance…. the weight I had been holding for years began to fall off. I was so stressed all of the time, eating to comfort myself… soothe my emotions… and I had allowed myself to be bullied about my appearance within our marriage… a lot of baggage related to my weight…. disappeared when our relationship was over…. You are doing so many healthy things to get through this… keep it up… you will get there!

    🙂 D.

  3. I sometimes make a list. But instead, I think I will follow your lead and keep a journal. A small one that I may carry with me and to memorialize grateful moments as they occur.

    The painstaking work comes in changing my thought life. I’m doing it but I need a lot of help. haha. I include a lot of prayer during my day. I could focus on the things I don’t have or the trouble that may (or may not) come. But, I will miss the miracle of today. Love your stuff. You rock. Grateful for you.

  4. I can not tell you how consumed I have been with my ex’s new life. He appears to be happy and have everything he ever wanted. He rubs it in my face constantly. I feels like he always ends up on top. I remind myself daily that “He who began a good work in Me will not finish until the day of completion”. I thank God everyday for my blessings. I know that his happiness is not real and he is trying to fill his void with whatever he thinks will make him happy. It just seems, for now, that he always ends up winning. I know in the end God will take care of me, I am exercising patience.

  5. Thank you everyone… it was a hard road to walk but I really did find so much growth and knowledge on that path and I know you will too… countless blessings…. 🙂 I am so glad I am now free of a person who would have never been happy in the relationship we had together. Michelle, when my husband and I first split he was so flippant about our life together… it was like he was having no reaction to the break-up. He went to Hawaii with his new girl (she sent my kids a postcard telling them how much fun they were having… wow) he got a new place by the beach… seemed truly happy and healthy and then once his new girl became a “REAL GIRL” not a mistress… but a wife… he did the same things all over again with her: cheating… using… lying… manipulating. She is still with him but has completely abandoned all of her hopes and dreams to keep an eye on him… watch him constantly… and now has major anxiety issues. That could of been me if my Higher Power hadn’t kicked me out of my own way! I would have stayed and tried to make it work forever…at the cost of my own health and sanity. If a person treats you badly… trust me… unless they do some SERIOUS spiritual footwork they will treat the next person badly as well. Keep exercising patience Michelle and keep walking your path and know that all really will be revealed in time and you will be so relieved to know that you are better off today! 🙂 D.

  6. Oh Thirstyfish! I wanted to tell you that in my gratitude journal I would also have a spot where I would write a “wish list” of things I hoped to achieve or have… now when I look back in those journals from my past… most of what I wished for came true 🙂 It was nice to see… you might want to add the wish list… something to look forward too! D.

  7. Love this post and it set me on a track over the past year of writing out what I’m grateful for each day, and to let it fly in a journal when I’m happy as well as working through painful times.
    I’m grateful for your blog 🙂

  8. Wow, could I relate. now that a little over a year has passed since I got dumped. I experienced the same obsessive { holding me hostage thoughts} and fillings of self pity because he was doing so well and how could he move on so quickly. After a lot of spiritual footwork and accepting the loss and loneliness I arrived at a place of resting in the solitude of being in the presence of God through centering prayer and I have hope for myself and my future, I place I probably would have not reached without the separation and for this a am so grateful. I am grateful for Gods presence in my life on a daily basis, his love, grace and mercy, I am so blessed. Have a God blessed day, it does get better.

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