As I continue making my gratitude lists each night, it’s a delight to see how often the “little” things in life are the things that spring to mind to be grateful for: the joy of watching new grass sprout where I’ve seeded, the extravagant colors of the fall leaves, the delight of a good cup of tea, a delicious meal, kind words from a co-worker, a snuggly cat, the satisfaction of having completed a dreaded task.
It’s so easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking that I need big things (like a winning lottery ticket) to make me happy when I’m actually surrounded every day by more than enough to wrap my world in joy, if I just take the time to notice. There are indeed so many things to be grateful for even in the toughest of days, and it is good to remind myself of this.
I’ve added one step to my gratitude routine each night. This week, I also made a note each day of one thing that I was proud of myself for each day. I rather unexpectedly found this practice to be almost like expressing gratitude to myself for things well done and choices well made. This connection was more obvious since I was paying attention to this at the same time as listing my gratitude items for the day. The feelings were almost identical.
It’s also been a surprise to discover how easy it’s been to find something to be proud of myself for each day. I had anticipated this to be a challenging task since I am normally so hard on myself, but it flows so naturally from a place of gratitude that it’s been easy to make the shift from gratefulness for the good things I’ve been given to being grateful to myself for the places where I made good choices or accomplished things that are to my greater benefit. It doesn’t feel like boasting; it feels more like acknowledgment of a blessing.
It feels really good to take those few moments every nice to allow myself to feel proud of my accomplishments and to celebrate things I’ve done well. I’m not used to that feeling yet, and I can still only manage to do this because there is no one witnessing it. If anyone could hear me (or see what I’m writing down), I know that it would still prompt so much discomfort in me that I would immediately discount whatever it was that I had been proud of.
Being able to bask in my own pride in my accomplishments in private is at least the first step toward shifting my relationship with pride. Once I’m feeling even more confident and comfortable with this step, I can try to venture out into letting other people see me being proud of my accomplishments.
In the meantime, embracing this sense that being proud of myself for something I have accomplished is a means of expressing gratitude to myself for a job well done is easing the way.
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