Often in the midst of tragedy, it is difficult to find gratitude. I am no stranger to this and I'd bet my bottom dollar you agree. It's normal to go through something hard, then start questioning yourself.
"Why me?" has been a common theme in my life.
Recently, I've gone through several negative “bad” situations that have left me on a roller coaster of emotions. I am living out stages of grief like never before. Most days are good and then it hits me...the pity party of the year. I loathe self loathing...so I try to snap myself out of it quickly...but what happens when you just can't find your joy?? Well, that's a loaded question. There are lots you can "do" but just how many actually help?? Not many in the long run. Yes, of course prayer soothes me, my workouts ease the stress, my wine numbs the pain...but those are only temporary. Then I am right back where I started, in this crazy cycle of feeling less than or punished...asking why the "bad things" just keep coming???
Let me confess to you...
For a long time I subconsciously "well sort of" had made this pact with God. It went like this...I will work hard at doing good things because I want to be a good person...but secretly, for each "good thing" I am making deposits to my spiritual bank account. Hoping that God takes note of all the good energy I am sending back into the world. Collecting all these good things so that maybe someday I can cash them in. Can you relate?? Geez that feels better to let out, but also I am a bit embarrassed.
To clarify, I don't mean that I am only doing good to gain favor...I just mean to confess that part of me believed that if I did a lot of good, then "bad things" would happen less and less around and to me. How wrong I was and how much time I wasted overthinking this idea. Truth is bad happens...to us all. We live in a fallen world and for one reason or another...our choices OR someone else's, cause bad things to happen. And in case you were collecting "favor" like me, you aren't alone in wishing there is some way to prevent the bad. In my realization of this phenomenon in my life I also must make note of the other side of this lesson...
What I have come to realize (outside of the fact that collecting "favor" is an utter waste of time) is this, maybe all bad things don't happen TO us, maybe they happen FOR us?? Hmmmmmm. Now that's an idea. It seems the more gratitude I have during (and after) the hard things, the better I feel. The faster I "recover". They say it is pretty hard to complain and be grateful at the same time, and I agree. I find myself rolling with the punches a little more freely these days. Not because less bad is happening, but because I am able to see the blessings in the bad...not just the temporary inconvenience of pain. It isn't always easy and sometimes I have to revisit the idea over and over...but all in all, I find what I can be grateful for in the bad, and it's changing my life.
Next time you face adversity, look for the blessings you can be grateful for in the moment... and I promise you...(if you try) you'll like what you find.