At the beginning of the year I saw this fantastic idea on Facebook: a gratitude jar. You write down things you are thankful or grateful for on little pieces of paper and put them in the jar. Over time you have a collection of blessings in your life. I love to see my jar getting more and more full, and I can’t wait until New Year’s 2014 to open up the jar and literally count my blessings.
A lot about living daringly involves embracing life: the good, the bad, and everything in between. I like the Buddhist idea of getting rid of labels about experiences. Those things that we deem as being “bad” in the moment may turn out to be blessings in disguise in the long term.
I feel that my divorce falls into that category. At the time, my ex-‘s leaving felt terrible. I felt betrayed, abandoned… But the truth was that I wasn’t happy in the marriage either, and hadn’t been for a long time. In the long run, the divorce turned out to be something I’m incredibly grateful for. I’ve been proud to report that every year since that year has been my happiest, and I hope to maintain that trend for a long time.
So when challenging things happen to me, I’ve been trying to flip it around and figure out what lesson I might be able to get out of it. What do I have to be thankful for from that situation? The happy moments are easy, but can I find something to put into the gratitude jar for more challenging moments?
Certainly that is a challenge in and of itself, but I find that the answer is ‘yes’ more and more often. I can ride through those challenging times and think ahead to how they might help me and my overall personal growth…
That’s a really good feeling.