The struggle of gratitude.
Gratitude. I have struggled for many years to genuinely feel gratitude. In all of the books on manifesting and self-development, they all say it is all about gratitude. But no matter what I was unable to wholeheartedly feel it. A couple of years ago I even bought a journal that was specific to writing a daily gratitude list. Every night I would struggle to write down 3 things I was grateful that was in my life now. And 3 more things that I was grateful for that I wanted to come into my life.
During those few agonizing nights (before I gave up) I felt like an ungrateful bitch. I could not “fake it till I make it”, with this one. And if I wanted to be completely honest with myself, I could not feel gratitude for one single thing in my life. I could not even feel gratitude for the things that I knew I loved. It was like I was an empty shell with a bitter heart. And through that, I beat myself up for this ungratefulness that I felt.
Letting it all go.
Instead of beating myself up for the lack of gratitude, I abandoned the subject altogether. I figured happiness and abundance were not meant for me in this lifetime. And I would be content in knowing that my true nature was a stone cold grimalkin.
The interesting part of it all as I look back to this time in my life I was not living my purpose. I was in a confining marriage/relationship that no longer served me. My work life was stale and I was unsuccessful in trying to start a network marketing business. Also during this time, I had stopped painting, writing and creating altogether. I had pretty much stopped everything that I loved. Unconsciously I was drinking heavily to drown out the noise of my higher self. Whom had been yelling at me on the daily that it was time to change my life. Every time I stepped out the door I was angry. I was angry at every person, car, noise, even the chirp of the harmonious sparrow.
There was no room for gratitude in a life that was not living up to its highest good. No gratitude could be found in places I was cheating myself out of pure joy and happiness. My resistance to this gratitude was in direct reflection of my resistance to allow myself any sort of happiness. I was living a lie.
Changing the plot.
To make a long story short… All of this came to a head for me in the beginning of 2016. I quit my job with no real plan. For once in my life I allowed myself to monetarily be taken care of. I took a couple of months off of even finding work to get myself back together. And that is when things started to change in every area of life.
Towards the end of 2016, I knew I needed to take a look at my marriage without the rose-colored glasses. The moment I lifted them off I saw this relationship was over. Only 1 month into 2017 I ended my 6-year relationship. I had no real plan for my future other than the fact that I was on the pursuit to happiness. I took on a lover that initially opened me back up to life. Our chemistry dazzled the parts of me that had laid dormant for so many years. The energy had me tantalized and I started to paint, write, laugh and dance again.
Through the course of 2017, I found parts of myself that got lost in a life I forced to happen. I faced the deepest and darkest parts of myself. I stuck my hands in the mud and got dirty while I dug through the manure of my past. Every worn out fear I had been carrying with me in a beat-up suitcase came up against me. During this life review rollercoaster, I was unsure if I was even going to make it to the other side. But I kept going. At this point I was bound and determined to master myself and live in the happiness I knew I deserved.
Standing on top of the world.
During my recent trip to England, I took a train into London from Brighton to meet up with my British friend, Jen. She took me on an express tour of the city. Which first consisted of a hard cider at a pub in the Borough Market. Next headed over a bridge on our way to the Finical District. Where (from afar) I got to see the Globe Theater, Buckingham Palace, some church, and the Tower Bridge. My only tourist photo “must haves” was a pic of me with a Shakespeare mural and an iconic red phone booth.
We grabbed another drink at The Nickel Bar in The Ned Hotel. Where Jen’s old co-worker met up with us before he attended a bachelor party. Upon arrival, he instantly took our PC subjects into the gutter. For the next hour, he had me delightfully laughing at his crude stories.
After we indulged in 2 bottles of Picpoul de Pinet we realized we were going to be later for our 6 pm dinner reservation. We ran out the door into the bustling rush hour of London. Londoners scurried past us in every direction. I wondered what everyone else on the streets was in such a hurry to get to. We ended up being 20 minutes late for our reservation. We came up with a poor excuse for our tardiness, but luckily they did not hold it against us.
The hostess led us through the dimly lit restaurant to a beautiful 2 top table. Perched right up to the scenic window the table would have been perfect for a pair of lovers on a first date. The restaurant resides in The Shard building on the 31st floor with an almost 360-degree view of London. The scene was breaking with the twinkling lights of the city below.
A break in the resistance.
In the middle of sipping champagne and having deep talks about life, I excused myself to the lady’s room. The bathroom was sexy with dark tile and underlit mirrors. As I washed my hands I gazed out on the historic city. Out of nowhere, I was immersed in the deepest heartfelt warm feeling. As a flood of memories surged through my mind in a kind of, ” This is your life”, moment. And I realized just how blessed my life is. And how lucky I am to live where I live. I have a job, that may not be my passion, but pays my bills and allows me to have extra things in life. The most beautiful humans surround me and I am honored to have met each and every soul. Even the ones who have deluded me or broke my heart.
Months before the trip my husband had left and moved out of state. And I was left with a monthly rent I could not afford. As what I made in an entire month was not even enough to pay the rent let alone any other bills. And here I was in London after working my ass off to rebuild my life. And dining in a fine restaurant overlooking a city with a new friend who I met by chance in a pool in Mexico only 2.5 years prior.
The gratitude I was doused with that evening has not left me. I came back to Los Angeles with a new sense of life. That moment has changed a part of my core. And I can still access that part in my heart and feel that feeling of pure gratefulness. Through the good, the bad, the magical, and the ugly I have been gifted one amazing life. Now I can say I would not change a thing or change it for anything.
This whole experience taught me invaluable lessons. When I was not living my life that was authentic to me or making me happy I was filled with resistance. In the moments I started to follow my heart, my intuition and put myself first everything began to align. The past few years definitely was not an easy road and finding this new found peace was not granted overnight.
When we resist good things to come into our lives and when we stop listening to our heart we are filled with darkness. When we start walking in our soul’s purpose we start to allow our inner light to come back and shine. The only question I have is if you cannot find gratitude do you have the courage to take an honest look at your life and change what is no longer working? PEACE.
P.s. I tore out the old pages from the gratitude journal and have started rewriting all that I am grateful for, but now with a heartfelt purpose. 😀
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