Seriously, Tell Me to “Be Grateful” One More Time…

So this one time, I gave up my job, my marriage, and my home pretty much all in the same month.  Instead of making life changes one at a time, I apparently felt the need to rip off the band-aid as fast as humanly possible.  …And that came with some side effects.  The immediate ones were unpleasant to say the least, including but not limited to: heartbreak, self-doubt, disappointing people, anger, guilt, and grief.

At the time, I remember thinking that no one could possibly understand what I was going through.  Really Kristen?  No one on Earth has ever dealt with heartbreak, self-doubt, disappointing people, anger, guilt, or grief?  


Oh.  Right.  It’s part of the human experience.  And we can either accept it and wise up… OR we can fall into bitterness and woe-is-meitude.  (It’s my blog; I can make up words if I want.)  I tried the latter for a while.  It didn’t suit me and didn’t make things better.  So I figured out how to wise up.  How?  I started to be grateful.

This is the point at which you want to throw things at me/stop reading/roll your eyes.  Because when you’re going through a giant pile of suck, people saying, “Simply have an ATTITUDE of GRATITUDE and ALL your troubles will go awayyyy!!!!” in a creepily cheerful voice is not what you want to hear.  Gratitude, schmatitude, right?  Saying “thank you” without the feeling behind it is not helpful.  

…So I had to figure out how to actually feel grateful.  Simple?  Yes.  Easy?  Nope.

It’s not a matter of forcing yourself to say, “Gee Universe, thanks for putting my heart through a meat grinder.  I so appreciate it.”  It’s a matter of digging deep and really asking, “WHY is this situation good for me?  HOW is it useful to me?  WHAT have I learned that I didn’t know before?”  When you have the answers to those questions, gratitude simply appears.

In the middle of a storm, it’s difficult to see the light.  It takes a little bit of faith. (<—I’m cautious about that word, but I’ve decided I’m ok with it here.)  Faith.  In this case, the belief that whatever you are enduring is teaching you, growing you, shaping you, and setting you up for amazingness.

You’ve got to have a few days when your jeans won’t button in order to motivate you to fix your nutrition.

You’ve got to get involved with some douchebags to know what a quality relationship looks like.

You’ve got to eat some crappy sushi in order to appreciate the good stuff.

You’ve got to have some lots of shitty days at your job before you’re inspired to make a change.

You’ve got to toil away in the hot sun planting seeds in order to reap a big harvest.


Good things that came out of my personal giant pile of suck?  This blog.  Deeper friendships.  A shit ton of reading.  New business ideas.  Forgiveness and love for those who hurt me.  Forgiveness and love for myself even though I hurt people too.  Delightful clients.  An appreciation for my body and what it can do.  Thick skin and a stronger backbone.  Independence.  Being unfuckwithable.

I did not make up this word, but many kudos to the person who did. Beginning now, I shall use it often.



So, here I am, joining the ranks of humans preaching the “Be Grateful” message.  But only because I tried it and it worked.  Who’da thunk?  ?


Related Posts:

A Lot Can Change in A Year.  Or Not.  (Thoughts for when You’re Feeling Misunderstood)

Playing the Blame Game?  Time to Fold

5 Things I Realized After Smacking Face-First into A Giant Wall