You are grateful enough

This is an old post from the PPDtoJoy Archives. Written by Yael in 2012.

Mothers are often told to count our blessings. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. God has been kind to me in so many ways. But I’ve been dealing with a lot of physical pain lately: neck and shoulder trouble. So when I was in too much pain to fold the laundry or write a blog post, guess how grateful I was?

Being grateful is good for you, makes you a good person and all that. But gratitude can be tricky. The nature of being human, of being a mother, is that even if life gives you plenty of roses, it also throws skunks at you, and when that happens, the scent of the roses doesn’t stand a chance.

Thank goodness we can’t smell anything forever, right?

Gratitude, and feeling we are not grateful enough, was a recurring theme in my recent PPD SpeakEasy support phone chats.  The thought “If I were truly grateful, I wouldn’t be struggling/crying/nagging/feeling sorry for myself” bothers many of us. This thought travels with its nasty sister “Other people have it worse, so I have no right to complain.” Ouch!

That’s nothing but perfectionism talking. It’s the same sort of thinking that makes you feel guilty when you are mad at someone you love. It’s just more of the same “never-good-enough” culture we live in. This is why I adore this blog. Just.Be.Enough. is such a needed message in our world.  I’m inspired here every day.

So today I’d like to share a self-kindness kooky (this is what I call my coping skills, I dish them from a kooky jar). It is useful for disarming the “I’m not grateful enough” PPDemon:

You don’t have to actively FEEL the gratitude in order to BE grateful.
I hereby grant you permission to not feel your gratitude all the time.
It seems kind of silly to have to grant this permission, but it’s powerful.

Here is an analogy to help this sink in:

Gratitude, and love, are like the sun.
Even when clouds hide the sun, even when it rains, snows, or hails, the sun is not diminished by that which hides it from view. And when the sun sets, it goes around and rises again. Not feeling grateful does not make you ungrateful. All it means is that you are dealing with things that get in the way. It means the skunk is closer than the roses.

And I’m not telling you to stop WANTING to feel grateful, that’s useful as long as you are not “shoulding” yourself. Wishing for gratitude works a lot better than forcing it. Forced gratitude tastes like Guilt. Yuck!

Instead of judging yourself as not grateful enough, try playing hide-and-seek with gratitude. Instead of questioning your worthiness, seek trust in yourself by consciously getting into Just.Be.Enough. mode. Nothing can help you feel the nourishing kind of gratitude faster.

Trust me love, you are kind enough, and good enough, and smart enough, and yes, also grateful enough.

May the Joy be with you,

Yael

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