The attitude of gratitude is present all around. Every year it’s exciting to see the conversation start sooner and sooner. Someday it will be an all year, worldwide message.
I love the conversation of gratitude because it reminds us of what’s good in our lives. As humans, we are blessed with a sophisticated brain that is designed to keep us safe. But in order to keep us safe, our brain must always be on the lookout for danger and problems. It’s always searching our outside environment for threats to our safety, but also our inside environment. We can get stuck in a pattern of doom, self-criticism, and heaviness. If we overly misinterpret our world, our brain can run on a loop of seeing what’s wrong, rather than what’s right and good.
This is where the practice of grace comes in. By nature, we are imperfectly human. You will not get life “right” all the time. You’re going to miss the bar, you’re going to say things you don’t mean, and you’re not going to meet all expectations that are placed on you—even the ones you place on yourself. So what if you practiced grace? That sweet sweet mercy where you tell yourself “it’s okay.” What would happen if you changed your inner narrative from “you’re not enough, keep going,” to “you are enough. And if you want to keep going, that’s great. But if you want to stop, that’s okay, too.” You may think you won’t get as much done or you won’t be as successful, but I can promise you—you can and will. https://www.youtube.com/embed/H0ifIQNwXBE?wmode=opaque&enablejsapi=1
We all have an inner narrative. It’s how we learn to survive in the world and it’s often pretty self deprecating. I’d love to take a survey to see how many people do what this little girl does, especially at the end where she says, “I can do anything good. I can do anything good.”
Positive affirmations are a great tool to begin changing our inner narrative, but we often miss a step in the healing process. When we invoke positive affirmations, it’s usually because we’re trying to “fix” or extinguish the feelings that arise from not meeting an expectation. We miss grace. We miss accepting the true essence of who we are—imperfect.
The power that comes from grace has a softer and kinder energy than the perceived power that’s attached to meeting all expectations, all the time. When you’re trying to meet the demands of others, the demands of the world, or the demands you place on yourself—the demands start running you. You become frazzled, tired, and your actual, fill-your-cup needs are put to the wayside. When you invite grace, you decide what’s important for you to achieve and you decide what expectations get met. Anything else that’s unmet becomes unimportant because you’ve chosen “enoughness” regardless of how others perceive you.
So as we move into the season where we run on many expectations—the ones we have from others, the ones we place on others, and the ones we place on ourselves—call upon grace to soften the hardness. Call upon the feelings of being enough. When you soften, you begin to see all the things you have to be grateful for, and life is beautiful.