Cultivating Gratitude

Cultivating Gratitude

“There’s a storm inside my head, and it’s killing all the flowers.” -Author Unknown

I am grateful. At least I’m trying to be. I’ve been living under the shade of negativity for as long as I can remember, cultivating gratuitous feelings takes work and an enormous amount of effort. At the beginning of this year, my husband and I started implementing a gratitude practice first thing in the morning. It didn’t start there. It started by me fighting myself. I had to start small. I had to start with running water and my toilet while admitting what sucked. “I’m grateful I have this toilet to tinkle in 10 feet from my bed so no matter how many times my stupid body wakes me up at night I’m grateful I only have to go ten feet to pee.” 

Every successful person is saying you have to be grateful for what you have now or you’ll never be happy. I know they are right. However, I find myself sucked into and stuck with my “what’s the point?” pattern. It’s hard wired into my circuitry and taking everything I have to change it. 

The thing is, it is changing. My list has grown. My husband’s too, and now we include our daughter in the practice. There’s nothing more rewarding than hearing your child is grateful for you and the roof you provide.

I am grateful. Believe it or not, I am grateful for my pain. Sometimes I struggle to believe it. But I am grateful. Each experience I've had has elevated me. Each painful excruciating life moment has made me stronger. 

I'm grateful for the lessons I learn when I have to piece myself back together because it fills my toolbox up with ideas on how to piece other people back together. 

I'm grateful that I'm able to research and explore knowledge. “Knowledge is power” and the more you know the less you feel like you know anything. This humbling experience will ensure I’m always trying to learn and grow.

I'm grateful I was created. It wasn’t a fluke but a perfectly timed event that brought me to fruition. It took generation after generation of perfect timing to lead to me.

My journey, my life thus far, and my experiences led me to be who I am today and even if I’m not where I want to be, I am grateful for the growth I’ve accomplished along my path. 

I’m grateful for the love of lovers past, the suffering and the joy they brought all taught me lessons about who I want to be and what matters to me in relationships. I’m so grateful for the love it led me too, and the love I learned and continue to learn to cultivate for myself

I'm grateful for my body though my body is not eternal. I am grateful for the gift of a home, of adventure and growth my body gives me while I'm alive as well as the purpose it serves in the cycle of life. 

I've learned some challenging, hard and scary lessons, ones I feared I wouldn’t survive, and for each one I'm grateful. I’m grateful for each moment, each person alive and passed, each friend, each stranger that’s touched my life because all those experiences taught me more about what it is to be human. 

I'm grateful that life is short, as much as that's hard to admit, because it forces me to think deeply, ask raw questions and strive for big things all while I watch magic happen in both short and long years. I would not wish what I've been through on anyone in the world but I'm grateful it brought me to the here and now. Looking back on who I was five years ago, I am that girl's hero. I know 5 years from now Kaitlyn is my hero, but it's up to me to not let her down. She's only the hero I make her out to be with every choice, every second of every day. I'm grateful that I have that awareness.

I'm grateful that I'm capable of feeling the depths of my sorrow. Sacrifice and suffering have allowed me to carry precious gemstones of empathy into my everyday interactions with others. I’m grateful I’m learning to cultivate joy and be happy on my path, wherever it leads me. 

I am grateful. I know I am. Some days I’m having to fake it to make it, but I know with practice those feelings will grow because I’m stretching this mental muscle. Gratitude doesn't have to be giving thanks to a specific entity, but more about acknowledging what is in your life right now that you can be grateful for. My spiritual beliefs sometimes play a role in my practice and other times I'm grateful for an event I experienced or friends I have and moments we've shared. I'm also trying to be grateful for aspects of myself, like resilience which I know is a skill I had to practice over time. 

Ounce for ounce, bone is stronger than steel. You are the result of galaxies colliding. Stardust energy flows through you. Shine brightly because you’re precious, you’re priceless and I’m grateful for you. 

Apple out, 

K. Sullivan


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