Fear, resent, hopelessness, anger, insecurity, jealousy, comparison, obsessing, stalking, an inability to let go, low self esteem, and reverse narcissism… All of these things nearly robbed me of a life. The only thing that murdered the extent to which these destructive emotions/actions dictated my decisions, relationships, and destiny? Gratitude.
It’s not that I no longer feel those emotions or engage in the above actions. I totally do. I’m human. The only difference is that those emotions and actions are not what I call “home” anymore. Gratitude is.
I don’t like talking about gratitude because it seems so cliché. I think the term is overused, outplayed, and in many ways, like forgiveness, it can have this stigma of being almost unattainably “zen.”
I can’t NOT talk about gratitude though. It saved my life.
James Altucher wrote an amazing post on why gratitude is the ultimate miracle and how to exercise your gratitude muscle. I listened to his podcast this morning while I was getting ready. James was interviewing Elizabeth Smart. When she was just 14 years old, Elizabeth was kidnapped. She was taken from her own home at knifepoint and held captive for 9 months. Elizabeth was terrorized, abused and traumatized in unimaginable ways. However, the interview didn’t focus on every horrific detail of what she went through. It focused on exactly how she survived.
What stood out to me the most was the fact that even in the most horrific circumstances, Elizabeth realized that in order to mentally, physically and emotionally survive, she had to focus on whatever microscopic thing she could to be grateful for.
In the scariest, most hopeless moments Elizabeth was able to find gratitude.
She discussed how gratitude was the only way she could create meaning, tap into strength that she never knew she had, survive the trauma and ultimately, thrive.
Today is Thanksgiving and although it’s not celebrated everywhere in the world, this is the start of the holiday season.
The holidays are great, until they’re not.
Yeah, it’s the best time of the year but it can also be the most gut-wrenching.
Nothing highlights your breakup, heartbreak, loneliness, single-status, insecurities and disfunction more than the holidays.
And when it comes to gratitude, the holidays do a really good job of making us feel guilty for not exuding it in the merriest way possible.
If you’re alone, broken up with, heartbroken, scared, hopeless, powerless, option-less… whatever it may be, I wanted to write out a list of things to be grateful for so that you can create meaning, stand tall in your power, emotionally survive and ultimately thrive.
Gratitude. It really is THAT simple.
Here are 20 things to be grateful for no matter how alone you are or feel…
#1: If you’re alone, be grateful that you don’t have anyone cheating on you, lying to you, pulling the wool over your eyes, mind f*cking you, mixed-signaling you, drunk/high texting you or deflecting blame.
#2: Be thankful for the fact that you make your own emotional money. You are a person of high value and you produce your own emotional currency now. And because you know the value of your emotional dollar, you’re able to invest wisely. You never accept nor tie your value to disproportionate returns. And just like with literal dollars, because you have your own emotional riches, you don’t need to rely on anyone to “foot the bill.” Be grateful that you also know when to fold. You opt out of situations and relationships that are exclusively on your emotional dime (non-mutual).
#3: Even if you don’t have any true friendships, be grateful that you no longer have any more friendsh*ts. You’ve decided to flush the toilet instead of wasting your time spraying air freshener that never lasts over the crap that is a fake friend. Also, be grateful that you actually have the ability to flush and are no longer a slave to your disease to please.
#4: Give thanks for the knowingness that you are a person of high value. Be thankful that because you know how high your value is, you have no problem making a dignified exit on your white horse when you find yourself in friendsh*ts, relationsh*ts and situations that devalue you.
#5: Be grateful that you can you feel your feelings independent of reactivity. Feel a deep sense of gratitude for the fact that you’re a responder, never a batsh*t reactor. Response is rooted in action, reactivity is rooted in emotional impulse.
#6: Be grateful for the f*cktards and the pain they have caused. I mean… it lead you here. You’re in a tribe made up of love, understanding, soul sisterhood, support and badassness.
#7: Be grateful that you aren’t the new girl he’s with because he will end up doing the same thing with her. Be grateful that you respect yourself enough to not engage in communication with anyone who participated in your dishonoring – whether it’s the holidays, a birthday or whatever it may be.
#8: Be grateful for the fact that you now allow people to own their own behavior, words and actions independent of your perceived lack of value. Thinking that it has something to do with you is not only reverse narcissistic, it negates reality – reality that you no longer choose to argue with.
#9: Be grateful that you can do the one thing your ex can’t: Speak with your actions.
#10: Be thankful for making the decision to be the adult you needed when you were younger and didn’t have.
#11: Be thankful that you’re never going to be anyone’s emotional training wheels ever again (!!).
#12: Be grateful that you no longer miss your wet bathing suit. You wore this bathing suit all day – you sweat in it, went to the pool in it, the ocean, the bar, the club… you went everywhere it in. When you finally got home, you realized how dirty it was, hung it up and decided to shower. Just because someone else came along while you were getting clean and mistook your wet bathing suit for it being new/fresh out of the wash, she/he is STILL wearing your wet, dirty, used, sweat-in bathing suit (the bathing suit = your ex). Been there, done that, unbothered.
#13: Be thankful for knowing that no matter what anyone does/says to you – good or bad – it’s a window into their perceived shortcomings, dysfunction and pain, not a knife into yours.
#14: Give thanks for your allergy to f*cktards, bullsh*t and petty gossip/drama.
#15: Be grateful for the red and pink flags. Even if you didn’t act on them right away, it’s better to be alone now than to be in a relationsh*t where you feel more isolated than literal aloneness.
#16: Be grateful for your privacy and your health. They are sacred.
#17: Be thankful that you’re using the disfunction of others to motivate you out of your own.
#18: Be thankful that you were his karma and he was your northern star.
#19: Be thankful that you are no longer wasting time shining your light on f*cktards and marveling at their illumination (as if they came to the relational table glowing).
#20: Be thankful for other people’s allergic reactions to your evolution. It’s a sign that you’re on the right path. Keep evolving and be kind along the way. The world will adjust.
Choose gratitude because gratitude is the only true emotional life raft there is.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate! I am forever grateful for each and every one of you, all around the world.
Thank you for being a part of this tribe. Love you.
Keep a lookout for a big holiday giveaway coming soon 🙂
+ if you need further or more personalized help, please look into working with me here.