Life can get pretty difficult and sometimes it’s hard to feel grateful. We tend to focus on the negative more than the positive because often it is those thoughts that consume all our thoughts. It’s also often the negative thoughts and opinions that we share with one another that bothers us most. Bad news spreads and is discussed and receives the bulk of the attention from everyone and thus tends to overshadow the positive.
Through the darkness, we see small points of light – maybe friends or family. However, what we forget to find is the points of light within ourselves. Recently someone asked me what I was grateful for. However, when I answered they mentioned that I never said anything about myself. It never occurred to me that I should list something about myself that I was grateful for.
After thinking about it for some time, I decided to write a list of things that I was grateful for about myself and save it on my computer. That way if I start feeling surrounded by darkness or sadness in the future, I can look within myself to find strength as well.
This plan was supposed to help me in the future, but I never quite realized just how much it would also help me right now. In particular, it made me realize how grateful I am for the leaps of faith that I have taken in the past few years. From starting to share my writing with others, to applying to programs I thought were beyond my capabilities, I found strength in my vulnerabilities. Not once had I taken the time to appreciate this beforehand.
After writing that list I realized just how many positive thoughts I have towards myself. However, I also realized just how little time I spend focused on them. I never remind myself that I’m doing okay or that I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I only tell myself that I haven’t come far enough or that I’m not doing well enough.
It’s these thoughts towards ourselves that put us in dark places. It’s in these places that we find it difficult to find appreciation at all. We all know the world can be cruel, but that’s no reason to be cruel to ourselves too.
If every person sat down and wrote a list of reasons that they are grateful for themselves. If they folded it and put it away for a rainy day, we might see a change in the way we all look at the world. It’s not arrogant or selfish to love yourself, it’s important. It’s that love that makes you feel worthy of loving another and finding another who loves you.
There is a day during the year dedicated to mothers and fathers and all kinds of people. There is also a day dedicated specifically to you! How many of us take this time to actually reflect on our lives and the immense growth we have undergone each year to get us to where we are today? The answer is far too few of us.
Next year for your birthday, ask yourself what you are getting you. Maybe even take the time to write yourself something kind.
I know it seems silly to talk or write to yourself when you could be doing that to someone else. The truth of the matter is, you can’t expect everyone around you to supply all the love and appreciation you need. Some of it needs to come from within. Without that support from yourself, you will feel like life is letting you down even when it really isn’t.
Take time to be you, to love you, and to appreciate you. You have earned it.
Featured Image via Unsplash.