About 7 years ago I ordered some addiction memoir off of Amazon. Pre kindle, I awaited it’s snail mail arrival. When the package came, it was a pastel hardcover called Attitudes of Gratitude. I was perplexed; figured it was a mix up with the barcode. Putting it in the mail to return, I was annoyed and impatient to get my book. A few days later, another package. Another copy of Attitudes of motherfucking Gratitude. I was livid. Are you laughing yet? This was reminiscent of the guy drowning, waiting for God to save him:
It’s comical to me, now. I clearly wasn’t ready for the message the universe was sending me: slow down, look around and be thankful for everything you have in life. No, not the material things (although it’s fine to appreciate those, they aren’t the important stuff). I’m talking about the people, animals, relationships, experiences that bring you joy. What happens when there aren’t a lot of those? The majority of us are afflicted by stress, illness, injury, poverty, shitty jobs, financial hardship, dysfunctional unions etc.. The positive vibes only mantra can seem downright obscene in the face of what we’re all dealing with in the world today.
I’m not about to preach about the importance of seeing the glass as half full. I think we all know by now that optimism keeps you younger, happier, more hopeful and less stressed. But when you’re trapped in the quagmire of negative thinking, hearing that shit is as grating as nails on a chalkboard. I’m just here to say that I get it. Life can fucking suck. It can be god.damn.difficult to focus on the positive aspects of your existence. Start small. Write them down (I know it’s a pain-start with just a line or two). Nothing is too ridiculous; sometimes the cute antics of the dog or a new candle from Bath and Body is as good as it gets on a random rainy Tuesday when you’re bogged down by school, shitty drivers and bad vegan pizza.
The thing is…it works. When you change your thought patterns, you change your knee jerk reactions. You are more in control of your emotions. Don’t take my word for it; check out Joe Dispenza and Dr. David Burns. If you’re feeling really ambitious, hop over here and take a look at some hope for the future: https://charleseisenstein.org/. I always used to think people who advised you to change the way you think/react/address life, either had ulterior motives, were holier than thou/ condescending AF, or were trying to sell you something. Some are. But a lot of us just see the depths of life’s suffering in technicolor, and know that it doesn’t have to be this way. We can become changemakers. We can usher in a new way of thinking and feeling about the world and our fellow inhabitants. But it takes a group effort. Don’t be old me; so trapped in iron clad beliefs that it prevents you from seeing the beauty of possibility around every corner.