Given the economy, social unrest and general nuttiness of our world, I’ve had a tough time maintaining an attitude of gratitude. I find it difficult to pay attention to the news due to the doom, gloom and sensationalism (which used to be known as “yellow journalism” but is now the norm). And recently, my daughter and I had the misfortune of dealing with mean people. It was a challenge to remain calm and rational (my hubby assured me it was not okay to beat the tar out of some nasty teenaged jerks) so that I could help her find a way to be grateful.
Attitude of gratitude is a common motto in our house. Every morning, the kids and I write down ten things we are grateful to have, be or feel in our gratitude journals. There’s no pressure; no right or wrong in what we choose to give thanks for. Doing this sets a positive tone to our day and it’s something we can share as a family.
My daughter and I seemed to endlessly be discussing “the jerks” until it occurred to me how much time and energy we were feeding to the situation. So, I used my gratitude journal to write the below.
I am grateful for my harshest critics. Although the lessons I learned from them are valuable, those lessons were most painfully learned.
From their judgment, I became more open minded.
From their venomous words, I learned to speak more kindly.
From their defamation of my character, I learned to turn a deaf ear to rumor.
From their shunning and damning, I learned to be more compassionate.
From their hatred, I learned to be more loving.
I now fully understand that perception is reality but their perception of me is not MY reality.
If I could, I’d ask their forgiveness for whatever I might have done to make them think it was okay to be so cruel to another human being. I’d let them know that even though I was deeply hurt I’m a better person (braver, stronger, kinder) and I’d thank them. With absolute sincerity, I wish them the best of life and love as we all deserve.
My daughter laughed out loud about “perception is reality” and we were able to shift our energy regarding the kids who were bullying her. Now, the phrase, “perception is reality”, is an inside joke for our family and helps us maintain our attitude of gratitude.