I would like to think I am not a whiny person but the other day I realised how much I complain. I talk about the happy and positive things but I often find myself complaining more than I should. When someone asks me how I’m doing, somewhere in the midst of saying I am well and returning the courtesy, I drift into pessimistic conversation about the weather not being ideal or my lack of sleep from the previous night or about the poor public transport and infrastructure or maybe a bitchy comment about someone I don’t like. It’s so easy for these things to roll off my tongue, often paving the rest of our conversation or day for such negativity. If you think about it, constantly criticizing things you cannot control or change is exhausting and also frustrating, especially for the person listening to your rant. On the other hand, there’s complaining about the things we can change. Yet, if we can change them, why do we still complain?
These past few weeks, thanks to a close friend, I have started noting and sharing things I am grateful for from the day. The first day was difficult because I found my page blank. I buried myself in empty pillow talk and shame. Did I have nothing to be grateful for? Was I nothing but a reflection of my gripe? As the days passed, my friends would share their daily dose of gratitude. I still had nothing.
I don’t think I could ever stop complaining. It is a big part of me but also a work-in-progress. My ex fondly called me Grumps and while we joked about it in the moment, getting defensive about it was always the easy thing to do. Now that I think about it, it wasn’t the right thing to do. It’s not that I was not a grateful person before now but constantly complaining lightened the gratitude I had. This isn’t to say that there aren’t any sore moments in life. Circumstances or people are bound to annoy us every now and again, and feeling unnerved by these situations seems only natural. However, the way we perceive a situation affects the way we approach the experience at all. With this shift in perspective, I suddenly had so much to be thankful for.
❝ It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.
I am looking at everything going wrong but I see great friends finding joy in the faults. I am looking at the heat wave that hit the city this week but I see clouds floating against the moon in daylight. I am looking at a pending to-do list but I see a day of tasks complete. I am looking at unpacked bags but I see the lights across the landing down the runway. I am looking at an empty fridge but I see great friends and family. I am looking at an overwhelming tomorrow but I see the source of beauty and inspiration in my today.
Now, I find myself being thankful for the little things, more than I would’ve otherwise imagined. Gratitude is an attitude, an internal dialogue, a way of life. A constant companion and inspiration. Gratitude is your faith in yourself and the world around you. It is your heart before you stepped into the unknown.
As we count our blessings, especially today, there is a quote that comes to mind that sums up how I feel tonight. Today, this is what I am grateful for,
I truly believe we can either see the connections, celebrate them, and express them gratitude for our blessings, or we can see life as a string of coincidences that have no meaning or connection. For me, I’m going to believe in miracles, celebrate life, rejoice in the views of eternity and hope my choices will create a positive ripple effect on the lives of others.
Happy thanksgiving to you and yours. Gratitude and happiness always,