My Struggle With Gratitude

I just celebrated a pretty epic milestone. I will be honest and say, however, the anticipation of turning 30 was an emotional one. Grieving over the expectations I had tangled up with this date; feelings of loss, of failure, of surrender, and finally returning to the truth that the journey is always perfect and exactly as it was intended. Once I stopped fighting and moved out of the resistance, I welcomed a beautiful shift within me. It was as if this invisible force I had been pushing up against in my 20's disappeared. And then I realized... I was the force. Me and my expectations, and my "plan", and my perfectionism had created its own barrier keeping me from celebrating every landmark up until that point (big or small). 

Because I was operating under the belief that I couldn't celebrate until - yes, the dreaded "until"- I had accomplished everything I had planned to achieve, this prevented me from really feeling gratitude in my life. Confession: I have had an exceptionally hard time with gratitude. Even saying that, feels really uncomfortable and gross, especially since there is SO MUCH in my life to give thanks and appreciation for. But it was my own feelings of not being deserving (because I hadn't yet accomplished A, B, and Z to PROVE my deserving-ness) that kept me from acknowledging and honoring what I already had. 

The beautiful thing about gratitude, is that it's always there, waiting for you to receive it. Its patience and compassion will continue to extend in your direction, no matter how quote-unquote "deserving" you may or may not feel. You can still have gratitude for your abundance and be in debt. You can still be grateful for your gift and be unemployed. Gratitude is not affected by your current circumstance, but your circumstance IS affected by your gratitude. That is the greatest gift I've received in this decade transition; how important it is to celebrate the little milestones, the pennies from heaven we find next to our car as symbols of our abundance, the opportunity to brighten someone's day, the gift of waking up and hearing the music of the birds or city streets, to smell the magic of a homemade chocolate chip cookie, to breathe, to hug, to love, to share, to heal, to touch, to taste, to recognize that God is all around us, in little ways reminding us to hold onto these bits of beauty; that gratitude is a GIFT, a reminder and a remembering that we are SO loved and worth loving. 

So this week... set the intention to celebrate one thing about each day. Look for the abundance around you, the presence of miracles, the joy and appreciation for life in all its comforts and discomforts. And allow yourself to receive what gratitude wants to give... which is always, Love.