Expressing gratitude to myself

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.

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.

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7 thoughts on “Expressing gratitude to myself

  1. Oh I LOVE your idea of writing something you’re proud of in addition to what you’re grateful for. For me it would be tough to find something to praise myself for. Yesterday I did something that made me feel proud though. I responded to a news article online defending a celebrity for her weight. People were criticizing her b/c she wasn’t a size 0 or something absurd like that, so I wrote that it was unnecessary to be commenting on her weight and made some nice arguments that were not inflammatory. Overall, it was a nicely made argument in favour of not focusing on women’s weight when it should be their talent we focus on. I felt really good about it b/c I have always been naturally slim to very underweight at times (due to an ED) and thought being thin was important. So acknowledging women can be valuable if they are not thin was great for me. But I like the idea of finding something each day to be proud on oneself for. I think I might give it a try. Thanks for sharing your very good ideas!

    • Good for you in standing up for the value of all women – no matter what their shape!

      You might surprise yourself if you do give this practice a try. A lot of the things that I wound up being most proud of myself for were things related to choosing to react differently than my usual patterns (for example, choosing not to feel sorry for myself in a situation where I might normally have done so).

  2. I love your writing, and each day look forward to a new nugget. You’ve so beautifully captured your dance with gratitude, pride, and self-acknowledgment in this and other posts. It resonates with my own experience. Thank you for sharing yourself so openly and gifting your readers with your journey. It’s wonderful to hear you appreciating what I have appreciated for a while. 🙂

    • Thank you SO very much for this encouragement! I’m delighted to know that you have been enjoying my writing, and I’m grateful for your kindness in acknowledging me. Wow! Thank you!

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