Gratitude when there is nothing to be grateful for… A challenging topic and something that I love to teach people how to work through.
We all have emotions and experiences that are not the most favorable. In addition, we have the stories about that event, trauma, and interaction that we have chosen to write in our brain, and our body now accepts that as truth. Unfortunately, every single person has experienced some trauma in their life. Even being born is considered a trauma, then there is childhood, school, love, and life. And, post these experiences, we can get stuck in these patterns or what I call DNA loops, whether it be from stress, abuse, trauma, fear, or overwhelm. Complicate this with a personality style that maybe only see problems or a catastrophic event, and suddenly we are stuck in a situation that we see no out of, and you hear me say, “let’s be grateful” Yes, I hear you, I’ve been there too, and a dear friend showed me how to do this same exercise.
I want you to grab a notebook and write out 1 through 100. Write this statement on the top.
“Events happen; rarely, if ever, is it your fault, but it does become your responsibility to work through and heal from these experiences.”
Once you are done, I want you to take a moment and think about the worst event you have ever experienced. Maybe it’s what you’re going through right now, and maybe it’s a past event.
Now, are you here right now? Did you survive? Yes, yes, you did. I want you to write in the number 1 spot.
“I am grateful for my brain, whose number one goal is to keep me alive.”
And you did that. You survived the worst event that you could think of. Congratulations, I am so proud of you.
In spot number two, I want you to write,
“Remember that life happens for you, not to you. I am grateful that I survived and am stronger now than I have ever been in the past.”
Now please think about every part of you that is stronger, wiser, or more intelligent because this event occurred. This is not something that will come straight away. I’ve had clients take up to a year to get 100 blessings from their trauma. This is your reason to keep going, to keep fighting. When we do not work to push through these injustices, our bodies can get stuck in depressive states; we see rises in anxiety and anger and, sadly, suicide. You slowly begin to put yourself in the hero slot when we do this. You did this! This is your armor. This is your proof that you can handle so much more than you thought.
Over time as you think about the event, you will also think about whom you’ve become, and the story within your brain starts to change. Studies show that your brain will believe the perception of the world you tell. So, while we cannot go back in time and redo things, we can change how we respond to those situations.
Another way to rewrite these events (and find more to be grateful for) is to look back for heroes. Someone who was there when you did not expect them to be, someone who was your knight in shining armor or held your hand through it. Who showed up? Jot those people down. It can be as simple as someone who hugged you exactly when needed. Could you take a moment and fill in as many slots as possible with your heroes?
We have the power to change the imprint that comes from this world. You were given the gift to rewrite the stories for the rest of your life. Remaining in a state of gratitude helps to remind you all that you are here. Remember that you are worthy of all you may desire.
If you’re unsure where to start or want more ideas, download my free 21-day Gratitude Journal. This will guide you through what to write and start shifting your mindset towards finding gratitude.