I used to dread the month of November.
And not just because of all the scary F.O.O.D.
I dreaded it because November is the “month of gratitude.”
I so wanted to be grateful – to feel grateful – to feel _genuinely_ grateful (as opposed to “faking it until you make it” grateful).
I wanted to be that kind of good person who could feel totally, deeply grateful for life’s blessings….without simultaneously wishing for so much more than what I had.
For instance – I wanted to be healthy. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to have friends (besides my eating disorder, that is!).
I wanted to be able to sit down and enjoy a festive meal with loved ones free from fear.
I wanted to like what I saw in the mirror.
I wanted to love and be loved – to fall in love – to have romance and peace and joy and fulfillment in my life.
So I would start listing out the things I was grateful for, only to be confronted by this other list of all the things I felt I desperately wanted and needed that would never be mine.
In a word….PAIN.
But I kept at it. And other people – people who were strong and healthy enough to both feel gratitude and act on it – helped me keep going.
My mentor, who worked at all times out of gratitude for her own mentor’s love and guidance – steadied me and reminded me that even small “gratefuls” added up in time.
She encouraged me to keep a daily gratitude journal (which I did for years) until gratitude became as natural as breathing.
Today, it mostly has.
Today I know that my ability to see the genuine gratitude at work in my mentor and others is what has awakened my own.
Today I know that gratitude healed me – literally – and now helps me pay it forward to support others in turn.
This holiday season, recognize that you are gratitude’s work-in-progress (as am I).
Understand that longing to feel gratitude and feeling it yield the same blessings and benefits.
Know your life is living proof that gratitude is alive and well inside you – and even now at work to heal the world, one life at a time.
Today’s Takeaway: When you look around you, who inspires you to reach for greater heights of gratitude? Do you see mentors, friends, teachers, colleagues, bosses, family, partners, children, pets? We all have someone – I have always believed that and always will. Who is your someone?
p.s. This post comes from November’s “Good News for Eating Disorders Recovery” ezine.