Joy And Gratitude
Updated: Jul 9
Why can this be so difficult? I heard a quote from some unknown source not too long ago to the effect of worry being the improper use of imagination. Well, hmph, I feel attacked.
I've gotten into the habit over the years of imagining worst-case scenarios and dwelling on them as the most likely outcome because in my mind I was preparing myself for possible failures and giving myself a "sweet surprise" if things did turn out in my favor. I wonder how many times this has actually led to the realization of the outcome I feared most. I wonder how many times things might have gone the way I'd wanted or better because I had practiced the idea of experiencing joy at the thought of things working out precisely as I'd wanted them to.
Just like with anything else, negative thinking can become habitual. It can in fact become a comfortable form of discomfort. If we're out of practice in the act of thinking positively it can feel like an outright lie or foolishness to begin exercising optimism, but really, what is the point of worrying over possible failures, pains, or misfortunes? Is it some form of self-punishment we think we deserve in order to earn the reward we're hoping for? Is it a manifestation of the fears we allow to run our lives and control the attainment or lack thereof of our ambitions?
The truth is we all deserve to live with a sense of joy and peace in our hearts regardless of our current circumstances or past traumas. We all deserve the love that benefits us most of all: love of the self, self-care, self-compassion.
When is the last time you practiced self-compassion? What is something that brings you joy? Take a minute. Focus on that. Stop worrying over the what-ifs and the have-nots. They'll get you nowhere. Instead, focus on the list of I-haves. I promise the list is immense and once you've started naming things off you'll gain velocity and fill a page with them front to back before you even know it. You'll see the vast number of blessings you have learned to take for granted. You'll find that you have so much to be grateful for - and that is the key. Gratitude.
Gratitude is a bringer of joy and joy begets peace. And thus, joy floods my thoughts and my heart. I hope you're able to find that joy as well, and that with practice, you'll have found that it has become your new habitual pattern of thinking.
💜✌ - Heather Whitmore, LMT