Gratitude. It’s just a word. A sentiment. But for me, it’s magic.
Whenever I’m feeling down, feeling full of self-pity, I stop. I take a moment. And I remind myself how freakin’ lucky I am. I quickly list three things that I am grateful for. Three random, in-the-moment things. And I feel better. Even in my darkest moments, I’ve relied on this trick and it has pulled me out of the abyss.
My kids are spoiled rotten. They have so much more than I had when I was a kid. I was raised by a single mom. They have two loving parents. I moved almost every year as a child. They have a steady home. There were times when my mom struggled to make ends meet, so much so that she couldn’t afford to take me to the doctor. My kids have all their needs met and get whisked to the pediatrician at the first sign of an infection. Which they hate, of course.
One afternoon my daughter was complaining that she didn’t like our yard. It’s a small slab of concrete, so I feel her pain. She wanted a big, lush, tree-filled yard like her friend has. She was whining incessantly about it. I wanted to tell her to shut it. I wanted to tell her how lucky she is to even have a yard at all. To even have a HOUSE at all. But I knew my lecture would just go in one ear and out the other, “Wawawawawa” like a Peanuts cartoon. So I didn’t lecture. I let her whine. And then I said, “Stop! Quick, think of three things you’re grateful for.”
She paused. Then she looked at me and said, “Um, OK. My cat. My room. My friends.” (WHAT??? I didn’t make the list? Little ingrate.)
“Now how do you feel?” I asked.
“Happy,” she said.
“And do you care about the yard when you have so many other things to be thankful for?”
“Not really,” she said. And then she hugged me around the legs and buried her head in my stomach. “I love you, Mommy,” she said.
“I love you too.”
Gratitude. It’s magic.
*And while we’re talking about gratitude, I wanted to take a moment to tell you how grateful I am to have you here, reading my blog and watching my videos. Thank you, thank you for sharing this journey with me. xo, Deva