I Am Not Grateful Enough I Said to Myself

Jill Eng

Photo byD JonezonUnsplash

Let me explain this somewhat convoluted title.

You know how when you are sad, uncomfortable, or in pain you want so badly for it to go away? You wish to feel better and no longer have to be dealing with whatever distress.

Have you noticed that when it does fade, to whatever degree the relief sets in, you forget to acknowledge to yourself how grateful you are that it passed?

Well this happened to me this morning, and is something I frequently observe to be a tendency of mine.

It is also ironic because I am someone who practices gratitude regularly and it is what keeps me buoyed emotionally through most of my days.

However, when it comes down to a specific malady that was causing me upset, I tend to take it for granted when it is gone. It is as if I’ve returned to normal or a reset, and assume that was always in the cards.

Two nights ago, through much of the day yesterday, and leading up to last night’s slumber I was experiencing a physical discomfort — I won’t go into details — that was challenging to endure.

I knew what it was, and that at some point would dissipate, but had no way to know when that would be.

Upon waking I realized it hadn’t bothered me much in the night — I was mildly aware of it — and by the morning had chilled enough that I was feeling relatively comfortable (absent the thought that I shouldn’t get too excited because I guessed it could return).

For what it’s worth this is not a serious condition, only an irritant. Nevertheless, I wanted it to vanish!

When I recognized upon waking that it was more absent than present, I could also see, after about an hour, that I was not feeling grateful enough considering my prior wishes for it to disappear.

And this is a common theme for humans.

Not to say that for major things our gratitude doesn’t persist when an issue has shifted or been removed.

But for less dire situations, even if they are profoundly annoying, it is easy to move on and adopt an attitude that normalcy — whatever that may be for someone — was destined.

I hope I am expressing this clearly. I was just surprised at how little appreciation I was expressing to myself about the fact that my nuisance of discomfiture had subsided.

I harp on this because it was a shame not to glean more pleasure from its riddance!

After all, if I were to bother feeling crappy from its exhibit I may as well grab on tight to the opposite sensation which is to celebrate how good I felt.

Well, I did, but only for a few minutes.

I couldn’t quite grasp how much I’d hoped to wake up and have it gone.

And then, when that happened, my mind was like a spoiled child in a candy store. After getting what they desire they focus on the next thing they want.

So now I am going to take time to bask in how grateful I am.

I encourage you to join me in this practice upon noticing when something was disturbing your peace that then was smoothed over.

Take a little extra time to mentally recall how much you had hoped that circumstance would leave.

And how grateful you are that it did.

It is a wonderful opportunity to fill ourselves with good vibes, for however long we can milk them.

Especially considering how much attention we give the events that drive us nuts!

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I am a mindfulness author and teacher. I blog on healing from emotional trauma, guilt, anxiety, divorce, relationships, women, writing, parenting, and gratitude.

Portland, ME

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