GRATITUDE: It is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
The above definition sets the tone of what is appreciation. Life gives you so many opportunities to feel grateful for but on the same time challenges you so much when you go through many difficulties and the hardest thing at that time is to feel grateful. But why should we feel grateful during hardships? How can we anyways when we find ourselves in the middle of the emotional chaos?
Every single study you read on personal development tells you how important it is to feel grateful because gratitude is a positive emotion that will pave the way to many more opportunities for us to feel grateful for. And that is true.
The only issue is to get to that point! It is in fact so easy to define the rule but putting it in practice is really not a piece of cake. All of us have a history full of events and reasons for our sanity to break down. And what to say about those who from the very beginning of their childhood struggle with circumstances that will mark them for the rest of their adult lives and on top of it condition their relationship with themselves and with others. It is somehow tricky. Life is shadowy in many aspects, BUT (because there must be a but) there is at least one single reason for all human beings to be grateful for and that we all share, which is to be alive. Because every single day that we breathe is an opportunity for each one of us to reinvent ourselves, no matter how hard our circumstances are and to make a change.
Why should we believe in that statement? Because it worked with others. Each one of us is unique but we all share similar pathways and lessons are the same for everyone. “one is all, and all is one”. Our ancestors and fellows in humanity lived the same struggles and shared their experiences for us to be inspired and get some knowledge out of it, which will serve us in our own pathway. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel even if the experience feels personal. Additionally, in our time things are easier as access to information is instant through social medias.
So how to feel grateful? It is all in the way we perceive a situation. Whether we decide to perceive it with an eye of frustration, powerlessness, fear or instead to perceive a situation with an eye of curiosity, stillness, trust and non-identification.
Non-identification from a situation you are going through is maybe the hardest thing to do. It in fact requires that you take responsibility for the situation without losing yourself into guilt while embracing it with resilience.
Resilience in what you believe in, resilience and trust that any situation you are going through is not going to last.
Last but not least, it is our capacity to see beauty even in the darkest moments. Gazing at the stunning beauty of nature, feeling the compassion of an unexpected smile, the care of your friends, the feeling of relaxation after working out, the warmth of your family and many others reasons you only can see if you really want to.
But most importantly in that process, allowing ourselves to doubt is essential. It will anyways happen! However never surrendering to despair is even more important. Retrieve but then come back stronger until the day you wake up and things are different. And it will be different. You will finally reap the benefits of your on-going efforts.
Last month I have been working with the Lebanese breast Cancer Foundation, supporting them building awareness on this so very important matter. Beyond the practical aspect of trying to convince as many women as possible to check themselves, I met those women who went through the disease and who bravely treated themselves, fighting to get their health back because they wanted to live. I realized through the eyes of those women how grateful I felt for being healthy. It just hit me so hard and more importantly I felt really proud of myself, for all the turning points decisions I have been taking earlier in my life which supported me in changing my lifestyle for the best, giving myself a strong dose of self-love. The risk of getting sick is still a probability but the part I can control is the one related to choices that will shape the kind of life I live. And I decided I wanted the best for myself, no compromise on that simple principle.
Because that is what “ILoveMe” is about, taking the best decisions for yourself out of true love. No one will care for yourself as much as you would do.
But one thing I have to say, it is never a plain process, there are always reasons for you to doubt and retrieve back, this little voice inside your head will never really stop chattering until you completely and fully believe that you deserve the best and trust life that it will happen to you.
Still working through the process but I can also tell you that it works. Having exponentially reasons to feel grateful everyday of my life 🙂