Why should we not choose to be grateful – but rather work on why we are not grateful in the first place.
When we find ourselves ungrateful for something, or feeling any kind of negative state of mind for that matter, we can cognitively choose to be grateful or we can choose to work on why we are not grateful in the first place.
What is the difference and why is it important?
Gratitude is our natural state – we are naturally grateful. This is everyone’s natural state. That is who we are underneath all the “stuff” – all the fear, hurt, anger, sadness etc.
Negative states of mind or being, (that’s anything we don’t like to feel, think or do) are just symptoms – or messages that highlight where and how we can be more, how we can more fully express who we truly are; in other words – exactly where we are not fully in alignment with who we truly are.
And when I say not fully in alignment with who we truly are – what I mean is that we are not 100% congruent in our thoughts, feelings, emotions, actions, beliefs, values, conscious and subconscious with who we truly are.
We are a multi leveled, multi layered and multi dimensional being, and when we return to our natural state, that is, when we align all the levels, layers and dimensions of the brain, mind and being with who we truly are, we find that we are naturally in a state of gratitude – it isn’t something that we have to cognitively choose – it is something that we are already.
Cognitively choosing to be grateful is generally only working on 1 or 2 levels or layers. To bring us back into alignment with who we truly are long term, we need to work through and on every level, every layer and every dimension of our being.
When we cognitively choose to be grateful, we shift our focus and attention away from how we are feeling and ignore the reason that we aren’t in our natural state. By doing this, we are essentially trying to convince ourselves of something that isn’t true. We are trying to override and ignore the underlying misalignment.
This does work sometimes, depending on how much out of alignment we are and how deeply we are affected: and sometimes we need to do this in the short term; that’s why we have been given a rational mind – a part of the brain that injects logic and reasoning into situations!
But the lack of gratitude is a symptom – it isn’t the problem: if we need to choose to be grateful, it is because we are not in our natural state, it is a sign that we are out of alignment on some level, layer or dimension with who we truly are. By simply choosing to be grateful we aren’t dealing with the real issue, we aren’t resolving the underlying cause, which means that we will be constantly having to choose to be grateful.
“But, I am so lucky, I have money, a good job, great kids, awesome relationship – I should be grateful, but I still have times I don’t feel grateful”. This is your logical mind telling you that you should be grateful, but thoughts, feelings and emotions are not based on logic.
The answer is because you are not in alignment with who you truly are. On some level – you know you are more – that you could be doing more – that you came here to be and do more.
But how can that be? I feel like I am…..I have everything I have ever dreamed of.
Ok – let me share a story with you.
When I first started consulting, I had a great mentor – and he shared something with me that has stuck with me my entire life. He said to me “with much knowledge comes much responsibility”.
Meaning that just because we have everything, it doesn’t mean that is enough – we then have a responsibility to be the light for those around us – we have a responsibility to lead by example – to step up and be the change we want to see in the world.
Innately we all know this, it is the way we are wired – to want to grow and be more; and so even though our life may be amazing, we can always be more – do more – and when we are truly in alignment with that and who we truly are, then we come back to our natural state of gratitude.
When we acknowledge that we are not grateful and realign ourselves with who we truly are on every level, every layer and every dimension, we will become an even better version of ourselves. We will be able to see how and where we can be more and do more – not so we can have more – but so we will more fully who we truly are.