I never thought I’d be writing about the down side of gratitude. Up until yesterday, it had never occurred to me that there might be a downside at all.
I am after all, queen of gratitude (well, in some circles; small circles though they may be). The practice of seeking and recording gratitude had, in fact, changed my life–and continues to be a strong pillar from which I live.
Prior to, I’d been a snarky pessimist, “living the dream!”–a cruel hybrid of Tigger and Eeyore, bouncing from bright highs and dark lows, and often hanging somewhere uninspired in between.
It wasn’t until I was introduced to gratitude as a daily practice that I was able to step off that roller coaster and never look back. I smile more than I ever thought possible, and genuine laughter fills my belly more often than food.
And yet, yesterday I read the eye-opening news that gratitude can actually play near opposite for some folks. It was just a blurb in a Huff Post article that unfortunately I didn’t save. It was one of those “5 things you shouldn’t do if you want to follow your dreams” — or something types. And number 1 or 2 was gratitude!
I was so confused, I thought perhaps I had read the title wrong. I scrolled back up. Nope. That’s what they meant. I kept reading.
Some people use gratitude as a means to remain complacent. I couldn’t believe it. But it’s so true. I bet they do. I bet it happens all the time.
“At least I have a job.”
“It even has benefits.”
“We’re lucky to have a roof over our heads.”
This is where the gray area comes in. Yes, I applaud gratitude of jobs, benefits and roofs; I’m very grateful for all those things. But, by no means do I stop there.
Unless we are working in our dream job, with our dream benefits, in our dream house … then there is always room to step into our greatest desires, unashamedly.
By no means does the practice of gratitude mean that we have to settle. It can certainly bring things into clarity and even magically turn less into more. Yet, if there are gifts yet to be tapped or wishes yet to be fulfilled, there is also nothing wrong with wanting or asking for more.
In fact, I encourage it.
I leave you with this: Yes to gratitude! Yes to dreams! Yes to having it all!