I struggle with being grateful

I'm still learning how to let go.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

I hate when cliches start making sense. 

Be grateful is the one cliche I hear all the time. Usually from people who are already outwardly successful in their careers. It bothers me more than I care to admit. Because I try. I really do try to be genuinely grateful without the immediate urge for more. But it’s been incredibly difficult for me to compartmentalize my appreciation for what I have from my feelings of not having what I want. 

Am I doing this thing wrong?

Even reading back that first paragraph makes me feel like I’m just not understanding how this works. 

Be grateful with what you have and you’ll be blessed with more of it.

That’s basically how the saying goes, right? Thank God for all that you have in front of you. Don’t expect results, enjoy the process. I guess it makes sense in theory, but how does this concept work in practice? 

Me, I expect that things will work out. I set out to do things with intention and when it doesn’t work out, I get upset. And to be clear, getting upset doesn’t stop me at all. It motivates me to keep going. To find a different way to make that thing work. And I keep going and going until I get the results I desire. 

But are my expectations blinding me from appreciating what I have? From what I’ve already accomplished? How can I truly be grateful when all I think about is what’s coming next? 

That’s my struggle. 

When I reflect on this, I think a lot of my anxiety around this concept comes from not being able to live in the moment. It’s like somewhere along my journey of becoming a writer, the only thing that mattered was the destination. But even that’s not all the way true. I love writing. Everything about it, including the pain of trying to get as many people as possible to read my words. In that same breath, there’s this part of me that will never be satisfied until my own expectations of myself becomes a reality. 

Is that being ungrateful? 

I’m taking steps to change 

That said, I think I’m finally learning to let go. A little bit. I don’t want to be stuck so far in the future to where anything I’m doing now feels meaningless. Because it isn’t. The people reading this right now matter. The people who spend money on any of my two novels matter. They recognized and appreciated something I created and there’s no greater complement for an artist. 

So my morning meditations are centred on the now. I say thank you for everything and everyone in my life. I take the time to write down who and what I’m grateful for because that’s truly how I feel. It’s only been a few days since I’ve started this ritual and already these small steps have had an impact on how my day goes. 

I’m actually listening when my friends speak. Usually my mind wanders through a million different thoughts that have nothing to do with what the person right in front of me is saying. I’m also more aware of things. Hard to explain this feeling but it’s like I’m finally realizing how beautiful life can be. 

Like I said, it’s only a few days. Hopefully these feelings continue to surge through me. Or even become amplified as I continue to show more gratitude. It’s been hard for me to admit that I’m a work in progress. Someone who can’t do everything on my own and needs some help figuring out my own mind. But I’m getting there. However slowly, still making mistakes, but I know I’ll be a better person as I continue taking steps forward. 

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Giving Up Expectations for 2020

by Leigh M. Clark
Johner Images/Getty Images

What Not to Say to Someone with Depression

by Enoch Li

Thanksgiving Resolution: Keep a Gratitude Journal and Find Your Recipe for Happiness

by N.A. Turner
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.