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Taylor Elyse Morrison


Choosing Gratitude When Everything Sucks

Nov 23, 2020
Taylor Elyse Morrison

Choosing Gratitude When Everything Sucks

Are you feeling grateful lately?  In this episode, I want to invite you to acknowledge the good things that you might be overlooking in the last months through gratitude.

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This episode and post are going live the week of Thanksgiving. Talking about gratitude felt like the obvious choice, and yet I noticed a bit of resistance. 

How could I have a conversation about being grateful without ignoring the present moment?

That question became the thesis for the episode and blog post. 2020 has been tough for many of us both,  personally and professionally. 

Yelling at people to focus on the positive isn’t going to help anyone. Now is not the time to spiritually bypass. John Wellwood coined the term, and here’s how he defines spiritual bypassing:

[Spiritual bypassing is the] tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks.

The last thing that I want is for you to use gratitude as a way to ignore the difficult experiences in your own life. 

Gratitude isn’t about glossing over things. It’s about getting the full picture.

Most of us have no problem identifying what isn’t as it “should be”. Gratitude helps you acknowledge the good that you might be overlooking. You want to see your life for what it is, the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Comparison and gratitude don’t mix

Comparison enters the gratitude conversation in two ways. Neither is useful.

  • I wish my life was more like… We only have a limited view into other people’s lives. We can’t see the fullness of anyone else’s story, the highs and the lows, so it’s best not to bring their story into our own gratitude processes.
  • At least I’m better off than… How many times have we told ourselves to be grateful that we don’t have it as bad as those people over there? That mindset dismisses the reality of our own negative experiences while also diminishing the richness of others’ experiences. 

Comparison won’t make you feel more grateful

Turn your focus inwards and explore:

  • What you feel like you should feel grateful for - If you’re having trouble expressing gratitude for a piece of your life, lean into that resistance. There’s an insight there. Don’t force yourself to be grateful. Instead, explore through internal conversation. 
  • What you try to keep yourself from feeling grateful for - What’s keeping you from being grateful? Is there a belief that you don’t deserve something yet? A feeling that you haven’t reached the place where you want to end up? Give yourself permission to experience gratitude in the here and now. 

Gratitude doesn’t need to be an obligation. Let it be a conversation. 

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