I was going to write a traditional post about being thankful. I may still get around to it but...
Recently I spoke with my ex-husband and it reminded me of one of the things I do worry about with gratitude. If one only looks at the rosy side of a situation, one may not recognize things that need to change and/or leave a situation that isn’t healthy. I know that I stayed too long in my marriage hoping and telling myself I could find a way to fix it. There are occasional moments, even now, when I wonder if anything could have been done so that it could have worked out. (And then I get calls like the latest one from my ex-husband and I’m profoundly grateful again that I’m not still stuck in that situation anymore and dealing with chaos and emotional blackmail on a daily basis.)
I think it’s good to count our blessings. I think that if a relationship is in trouble, the only chance it has to work out is to begin by recognizing what’s good about it. I also worry sometimes that we survivors can be too loyal sometimes. We may stay in a situation or relationship even when it’s hurting us physically and/or emotionally and can’t be fixed.
My ex isn’t a bad person. There’s much to admire about him, especially in terms of the kind of person he wants to be. That doesn’t mean there isn’t distorted thinking, however. That doesn’t mean he sees himself or anyone else clearly. That doesn’t mean he was right for me.
So I’m torn when it comes to gratitude. All sorts of studies show the benefits of being able to see and cherish the good in one’s life. At the very least it helps us recognize that we can have good things in our lives, that it isn’t always all bad.
At the same time, I don’t want it to blind us to the need to make changes sometimes if we want our lives to get better. Discontent can sometimes be a gift.
So this week I’ve been grappling with the issue of how to balance profound gratitude for all that is good in my life and still seeing ways I might want to make it better. I’m grappling with how self-acceptance is the precursor to self-change. I’m grappling with the joy of all the good things I now have in my life and needing to make changes if I want to have more. I’ve even signed up for a 21 days to gratitude (free) program at this website: 21 Days of Gratitude
I’ll be curious to know how all of you feel about gratitude.
Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs)))))))),