It’s hard to know where to start with this day. Showing gratitude is something the I’ve always found difficult. I feel it, FOR SURE! There are so many things I am grateful for in my life but how much do I actually show that? I know I know I could do a better job.
So why is it difficult? I’ll tell you… But first, a story!
I was twelve and at a sleepover at a friends house. There were six of us. The friend had a big golden retriever which was super happy and had a nice waggy tail. Her mum had made pizza bases and we got to put on our own toppings. It was pretty awesome. Later, we were all hanging out in her room. I can’t remember the conversation context but I remember us having to saying one word to describe each other. It got to me and one of the girls said that I was spoilt and then the others nodded in agreement.
“You know you’re spoilt?”
“Yeah you’re spoilt.”
I’d never felt so small. So friendless. So completely alone. I had no idea that they felt that way about me, that I projected that kind of trait.
I bet, you’re expecting some kind of epiphany moment now? But I was twelve so clearly that didn’t happen. Twelve year old me jumped into some kind of rant that she thought would argue her case. I said,
“I’m not spoilt. My brother has lots of things I want and doesn’t let me play with them and I don’t mind at all.”
Great work G! Couldn’t win an election with that kind of unconvincing empty statement… HA! I don’t remember what happened next. I do remember turning my back on those girls and crying myself to sleep that night.
I’ll always remember that moment when I think about gratitude. Those girls labeled me as ‘spoilt’ and that’s how they saw me. I’m a lucky person and I know I’m privileged in lots of ways. And I am grateful. For every little bit of luck. For every person and thing that have come into and life my life. For every moment, good and bad. Including that one with those girls. They made me check my behaviour. To think about whether I’m taking a thing for granted or whether I’m grateful for its presence.
So when I said I find gratitude difficult, I meant that moment of realisation that comes when you realise you’ve not expressed gratitude for a favour from a friend or a gift. It’s difficult to recognise that you’ve projected yourself as selfish or spoilt or uncaring because it hurts your ego. It makes you feel small and alone, like those girls made me feel. But once you’ve recognised it you can go about making a change. Saying thank you. Giving compliments to the people you care about. Doing random acts of kindness. Showing your love for the people that make your life.