So Many Things to Be Grateful For—But I Continue to Search for Them (And That’s Okay)

So Many Things to Be Grateful For—But I Continue to Search for Them (And That’s Okay)

This Christmas season, Shayne Hare reflects on her journey in her personal and ongoing search for gratitude.

I’ve always been curious as to how some people can be really thankful for so many things. I’ve always wanted to know the feeling of having unlimited things to be grateful for.

Are you one of those people like me? Who are in continuous search of the brighter side of things? I’ve learned the hard way to constantly train my brain to develop a positive mindset. Whilst in the process, I resisted it. I thought that acknowledging negative feelings, journaling, meditation, and other self-care acts will instantly transform me into something much lighter. Though it did help, it’s much more than that.

Healing isn’t a straight line—it is getting on and off track. It can be frustrating and can arouse a lot of self-doubts. Whenever those times hit me hard, I would self-isolate and find things that I am grateful for. I measure the distance from where I started to where I am currently at. It won’t really make all the negativity disappear, but it will make me feel better.

The thing is, we feel most frustrated when we think everything is out of our control.

As a self-proclaimed control freak, my mind goes into panic if I am losing balance over my life; the plans that didn’t turn out the way I expected them to be, the decisions I thought would benefit me but didn’t, the endeavors I thought I could juggle but can’t, the people I thought would stay but left. It will leave me feeling stuck for a moment, but I made a pact to myself that I will help myself back up and instill in my mind that everything happens for a reason.

I slowly trained my mind to be okay, taking baby steps one day at a time. It progressed gradually. I realized all the things I failed to appreciate before. Now, I say my thanks even on the smallest of things like sipping a really good cup of coffee in the mornings, discovering a new song that I’d be obsessed with for days, trying out new food, having a rest day, holding a yoga pose or just merely being present on moments.

We can always succumb to the negativity and I cannot blame some people for drowning in it, because as cliche as this sounds, life is hard and unfortunate things happen. But as for me, there is a two-way ending, it’s either diving more deeply into it or recovering. I chose the latter. What powerful tool helped me in holding myself up is gratitude.

Learning the art of being grateful every day is not an overnight thing. It is a constant search for all the beautiful things that life can offer and cherishing the things we already have at the moment. It is finding contentment in the simplest of ways, it is appreciating the little things, it is the excitement amidst uncertainty and the ability to brave despite the fears.