When thank you isn’t enough

Sometimes people have no idea of the role they’ve played in our lives but maybe that’s how it was meant to be.

I hold the belief that you meet people for specific reasons. Often people come into our lives to serve as reminders of things that we’ve forgotten.

And when you eventually remember you are so thankful to these people even if you aren’t aware of the purpose they came into your life to serve.

You’re thankful because they cared, extended kindness, listened to you, supported you, helped you grow into yourself etc.

Yet, thank you isn’t quite enough and you might end up trying to find some way that you can repay this person that has helped transform you (and therefore your whole life) but it probably won’t be possible.

And that right there is the gem, sometimes a persons kindness and generosity isn’t given to be returned, it’s given because that person has chosen to give it. You’re not indebted to them or obligated to return anything.

Yes, show gratitude  but also to do something with what you’ve been given. Maybe that kindness/generosity was to encourage you to try new things, get you out of your shell, remind you that it’s okay to be yourself and so on.

The feeling can get quite overwhelming (in a good way) but it’s worth remembering that in these particular special occasions it’s not about the giver, it’s about what you do with what you’ve been given.

The comparison monologue

Also known as complaining about all the things other people have.

‘She’s the same age as me but I’m pretty sure she’s a millionaire (or at least not far from it), she successful, beautiful, has great personal style, has more freedom, more friends and probably more of something else beginning with F, like Fendi perhaps. I definitely can’t afford Fendi.

Her life is so much better than mine.’

What’s the use in making comparisons if it doesn’t feel good or it makes you forget all the good things your life is full of.

How about instead of looking at what other people have, focus on yourself.

You have a challenging and interesting job, you have a few close special friends, you make people laugh, you’re generous, you spend your free time creating and you’re an avid learner.

Sure you don’t have tonnes of money but that’s not what has you feeling discontent because there will always be someone who has things you don’t have.

You feel discontent because you’re playing a losing game whilst trying to convince yourself that you can win.

You feel discontent because you’re not happy with where you’re at and you’re using other people as a distraction from how you feel about yourself.

But maybe you could face those feelings and figure out what you can do to change the way you feel for the better.

 

Life changing habits: Practice gratitude

I’m grateful for so many things in my life.

One thing in particular is my right hand because I use it to write and writing is something that I attribute to so much of who I am as a person, like that’s how deep it goes.

I usually do a morning gratitude when I’m still in bed, when I’m brushing my teeth or when I’m walking to the bus stop.

I even do it when I’m in a bad mood. It never fails to lift my spirit because it reminds me that I have so much goodness that I can focus on and so much that I easily forget or look past because it’s always around.

I never thought something as simple as being grateful could actually have that much of an impact.

When it comes to things that are life changing we often fall into thinking it has to be big and dramatic “just like they do on the tv” but more often than not that’s not the case.

I’m grateful for my hope, curiosity, resilience, laughter, my job, my friends, my right hand, the park by my house, my grandparents…

The list goes on because my life is overflowing with things to be grateful for.

When I truly learned how to take that in, it changed my life.

Life changing habits: Transmute your feelings

Whenever I felt sad, jealous angry etc. my first instinct used to be to sit in it and wallow. I’d maybe play The Smiths, The Stone Roses or some other type of moody music and fall into some deep dark depression with thoughts like ‘there’s nothing in this life for me’.

This might sound dramatic or like an over exaggeration but it’s how I truly felt and it became this habit that I’d grown to almost find comfort in.

I’d also write as I was keen to document the woes in my life because sometimes it felt like nobody else saw what I was going through.

However, these days if I’m feeling jealous for example, I’m also aware of the fact that I often want things simply because I don’t have them and often once I get them, I get bored pretty quick.

I think it’s also important to remember that just because someone has things that you don’t have it doesn’t make your life any less good.

In my experience, most of the time if I start to feel jealous it’s because I’m focusing too much on other people instead of myself. It’s the perfect time to practice gratitude and once I do that my feelings change to joy, curiosity and excitement at the possibilities of life.

When I get sad or angry I turn it into a growth point and figure out what the takeaway is. I let myself know that it is okay to feel whatever I’m feeling, whilst reminding myself that I don’t need to sit in the feelings and wallow but I also remain patient with myself.

Most of the sadness or anger I’ve felt comes from not setting boundaries, not being open, trying to please others and sometimes it’s things that I have no control over.

In moments like these I transmute my feelings into joy by practising gratitude, remembering the joys of life and what it feels like to be me and love myself. But also just being present which is something I learnt from reading The Power of Now.

I’m learning to not wallow in my feelings but to feel them and move on. It’s fine to feel angry about something but you don’t have to hold onto it.

One of my favourite quotes I’m not sure who it’s by but it’s something like ‘Don’t let life make you hard’ and it has so much meaning to me because sometimes I fall into that.

But on the other hand, life can also be beautiful, wonderful and so full of joy.

Even if it all falls apart

I hold the belief that even if it all falls apart, everything will always be okay.

Which means that I often don’t give things as much effort as I could or should because I’m aware that everything will be okay, no matter the outcome.

When we take advantage of our circumstances life has this way of reminding us that we should make time for gratitude.

It might come in the form of something ‘going wrong’ or having to deal with an un-ideal circumstance. It’s in those moments that we can end up getting frustrated at life for dealing us such a poor hand or we can use it as a growth point.

I’m currently experiencing…

It’s difficult because…

It is teaching me…

Moving forward I will…

 

7 things to do when feeling blue

We all feel a little down from time to time which is totally normal. However, a moment of sadness can turn into hours, days or even weeks when you hold onto it. That’s why I think it’s so important to have things that you can do when you feel blue to help easy you out of the mood.

These aren’t quick fixes to shift your mood 180 in an instant. Instead it’s a list of things that I find helpful, so they might work for you too.

Go for a walk

Read my madder fatter diary

Write a poem

Phone a friend

Listen to the Jezabels

Make a gratitude list

Do a guided mediation

At first, I planned to explain each thing and how or why it works for me but that isn’t the important part. For me I focus on doing things that will allow me to reflect and ponder a little but also shift my perspective and often that is all I need in order to feel better.

Thank you for trying

What do you say when someone totally surprises you with their words and actions?

When they are generous and kind in ways that they don’t need to be, when they go above and beyond what they’re required to do.

I almost overlooked that it would have taken this person effort and care to handle the situation the way that they did.

I was too busy walking around with my hands in my pockets, refusing to be vulnerable despite this person creating the ideal setting for me to do so.

But I later realised that the way I had acted was a little ungrateful and it had tainted the whole interaction.

I really wish I’d had simply said ‘Thank you for trying!’