Thankful for the Balance

Think about how many times a day you thank the Universe for something. Yes! I snagged the last free muffin! Do you do this a few times a day? Now, think about how many times a day you (vocally or just mentally) complain or are ungrateful about something in your life. Uuuurrrrggghhh! The pharmacy line at Freddies is SO LONG! I personally don’t have a balance between the positive and the negative in this situation. Recently it was brought to my attention that I should be more mindful of that balance. Once I thought about it, I realized I have this knee-jerk reaction to immediately bitch and moan about something if it’s not perfectly the way I like it. I think it’s natural to be disappointed or grumble when something doesn’t go our way. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t complain, but I’d like to see if I could train myself to, instead of first having the nose-wrinkling negative reaction, be thankful for what positives are there. I see the pharmacy line is pretty long. This will give me some time to people-watch. Maybe I can develop some characters for my novel while I’m at it!

I didn’t do very much blogging in November. My focus was on National Novel Writing Month. When I looked at the stats on my WordPress dashboard, I was dismayed to see how few people had been clicking on my blog for the last few weeks. I took it very hard, thinking that all of my readers had forgotten about me, and how bummed out I was about it. Now that I have had time to breathe I realize that maybe everyone needed a break. If I had been blogging all month, I wouldn’t have had time for NaNoWriMo. If I didn’t do NaNoWriMo, I wouldn’t have met all the great new friends I met during that month. I also wouldn’t have developed an amazing story that will someday be a bestselling novel! See how I did that? I just needed to follow the breadcrumbs to the place of positivity, rather than greedily following them right into negativity’s lair. The question, then, is how do I start reshaping my autopilot thoughts? I’m asking you! I don’t have an answer to this except to say that practice makes perfect. Perhaps keeping a journal of it every time it happens is the answer. Honestly, I would have time for little else in my day if I did that. Small judgments and opinions are constantly popping up in the peanut gallery of my brain. So what suggestions do you have?

I’d like to make a list of things I am grateful for right now. I missed the chance to do a Thanksgiving blog, but I think being grateful is relevant all year round. Besides, it is the holiday season, and I like to think most people become a little less cynical and a little more appreciative during this time of year.

1) The number one thing I am grateful for today is that I have a safe place where I can express my fears and questions, my triumphs and giddy anecdotes, to an audience who lovingly embraces every word, and does not judge me.

2) This should be said more often, but I am so grateful to have shelter, food, and heat. I consider myself to be somewhat miserly; I rarely have extra money to spend. What I have, though, greatly outweighs what I am lacking. Many people in America can’t say the same thing.

3) I am exceptionally grateful to have the friends and family I have acquired in the last 32 years. Every single person who has come in and out of my life deserves a medal, because they have brought me so many life lessons.

4) The last thing I am grateful for today is for me. What I mean is that I am grateful for the person I have become. I appreciate all of my experiences, my body, my mind, and my incredible spirit. I promise to use this attitude to try and see my everyday nuisances as blessings in disguise while recognizing that everything, good or bad, happens for a reason.

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5 thoughts on “Thankful for the Balance

  1. Here’s my take on the mechanics of reversing automatic negative thinking:

    1. A belief is just a thought you keep thinking…which means you can choose to replace it with something new.
    2. Putting a happy face sticker on a negative thought is not honest and causes festering, eventually causing a chronic negative thought. If something bugs you, acknowledge that this is where you are, and it’s okay…because it’s where you are, and that’s all you can do right now.
    3. Go general with your thoughts. Trying to leap from a not-good-feeling place to a good-feeling place is sometimes just not possible. Start with easy things to divert yourself, and soothe your way in incremental steps to a better feeling place. Then, once you’ve felt a shift, acknowledge it and milk it to keep the ball rolling.
    4. Use your emotions as guidance. If it doesn’t feel good, you’re probably trying to jump too far too soon.
    5. Be easy about it. You are retraining your mind and creating new synapses – that doesn’t happen overnight.

    As for being bummed that nobody commented on your blog…I hear ya. After having a blog myself for over a year, I have had periods where I felt like I was the only one aware of what I had posted. Eventually, I realized I needed to leave everyone else out of the equation, and then I really started enjoying it and writing about what I wanted to write about, rather than trying to figure out what would catch someone else’s attention. And every once in awhile, I’d be having a conversation with someone and they would mention something I had written awhile back. I had no idea they had even read it until that moment. Most people never comment – but that doesn’t mean they don’t read what you’ve written, or that it didn’t touch them in some way. 🙂

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