Have you ever been so down that it feels impossible to be grateful for anything in your life? I can’t speak for y’all, but I’ve had days when I’ve lost sight of my aspirations and had little confidence in the next steps I’m trying to take to get to my higher being/self. And then I have days like today when I really want to claim defeat, but being grateful has stopped me.
I was so ready to completely shutdown and retreat to my bed to hide from the world and my obligation to myself to keep striving forward on my dreams. Who would know if I had one day of self-pity and defeat? No one was home, and if I didn’t tell anyone, no one would be the wiser that I was a coward today. Then that loud and slightly annoying inner voice of mine yelled at me “Oh no, move chic!” So I grabbed my bus pass and left the house with no destination in mind.
I ended up on the outskirts of San Francisco at Ocean Beach. Subconsciously, I needed to be in my happy spot to recharge. The thing is, I didn’t realize before that moment that the beach was MY happy spot. It’s not as if I was ever in desperate need of a tan. I simply thought I liked going to the beach because I liked the sound of the waves, the feel of the sand under my feet and lounging with the sun on my face.
In the midst of basking in all those things, I rediscovered the art of gratitude. It just hit me like a wave crashing over my body. I suddenly found myself grateful for hot days like today in San Francisco, which are rare. I was grateful for my family and friends, especially my niece and nephews who inspire me to strive to be an example of greatness. I was grateful for all the trips, meals and amazing music I’ve experienced in my life. Heck, I was in even grateful for the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series. But what I was most grateful for is that I have a fighting spirit.
I gave up once in life and that almost cost me everything. What life has taught me is that there are going to be hard times and times of serious self doubt. However, God gave me the skill to fight for what I believe in and that I have purpose in this world. I’ve been fighting for my beliefs since I was a kid, and I finally got that I was meant to continue as an adult.
Today is almost over, but I’m grateful for my ah-ha moment and rediscovering the joy that comes from being grateful. Tomorrow is a new day and I plan to wake up and actively make an effort to be grateful each day.
What are you grateful for in your life?
5 Ways to Practice Gratitude
- Keep a Daily Calendar or Journal of Gratitude – Write down something that made you feel grateful each day
- Give Thanks For The Hard Stuff – Try to find something positive when experiencing difficult situations, as they often are blessing in disguise
- Take a Gratitude Walk – Take a 10-15 minute walk and think about the things that make you feel grateful as you walk
- Give at Least One Compliment a Day – Make giving a compliment a daily practice
- Say “Thank You” More Often – It sounds so easy, but it really makes a difference when making a conscious effort to say thank you