November 13, 2017

It's commonly known that the best way to attract positive things into your life is to be grateful for what you already have. We're usually grateful for the good things, for the things we don't really need to think too hard about. Often, when people keep a gratitude journal, they put down the same things over and over: family, a roof over their head, enough food.

This is good. You really should be grateful for the basics that keep you housed, more or less happy, and going about your ordinary business. But you can go a little farther than that. Have you ever tried to find something to be thankful for in the things that go wrong?

Having to do this is kind of triggering. Even just writing this, it makes me think "screw you," and you is me, so how helpful is that? For me, when something happens that I don't like, it's hard enough dealing with the situation never mind trying to make myself feel all positive and new-agey and up for channeling Gandhi or Mother Teresa. I just want to break shit and have a tantrum. I don't, because I'm a mature human being and my children have cell phones and access to social media.

But try it. The good things are there, always, but sometimes it's hard to see them. Sometimes we make them play second fiddle to their elder sibling the shitstorm, because we get sympathy and feel important when we protest something, or cluck about it with friends. Nobody wants to look all pollyannaish or act like they're making light of unpleasantness. The world needs more positivity, however, and there are plenty of good things out there that need to be appreciated. People who do good work, small acts of compassion, simple pleasures -- none of these things deserve to go unwitnessed, and often we only notice these things when we're hurting or confused.

So pay attention when you're upside down.