I feel like it’s been a minute since I’ve moved through life with a sense of gratitude. I used to have something I called a Blessings Jar. It was an empty mason jar that I kept on my desk, and when something happened that was a blessing; either to me, or someone else, I would jot it on a piece of paper and drop it in the jar. Then the best part was on New Years Eve when I would open the Blessings Jar and read all my blessings. What a beautiful way to remember the year, right? The image in this blog is one of my actual Blessings Jar that I opened December 31, 2013, which I believe is the last year I kept counting them.
I write for a quarterly magazine about the city I live in and we (writers) are encouraged to keep our articles light, encouraging and somehow bring the article back around to our city in some way. Over the years, I have often found myself writing about gratitude or the beauty in our world, or random acts of kindness. I woke up this morning and wondered where that positive, joyful living woman ran off to?….Oh yeah, she got divorced this year. That’s right, shit got real and reality kicked her square in the jaw (or jar, as it were).
I’ve noticed recently that I’ve been seeing more things put before me that remind me to be grateful. I’ve seen a lot of videos and social media posts about Gratitude Journal’s or purposeful living. I don’t really believe in coincidences, but I do believe in signs and messages from God, The Universe, The Higher Self, whatever you call that Other Thing that nudges you to pull your head out of your derriere, quit moping and start living.
I could yell from the roof tops about how glorious it is to begin to feel this way again. I feel like I’ve just woken up from a year-long fever-dream of stress, anxiety, depression, self-hatred, hatred of pretty much everything and shame. It was a year ago this month that I found out about my ex’s sticky fingers where other people’s money was concerned (including our savings) and thus began the laying of the final straw on the camels back. It would be another four months before I finally detached and he left.
I recently learned, through a short text conversation, that he has finally moved into an apartment with some roommates. He has been living in….lets just say….communal conditions (aka various homeless shelters across the country) for the last 9 months and I was genuinely happy for him, and I told him so. I’m happy that he is finally moving forward and rebuilding his life. Maybe that is what has given me the push to really allow the joy to flood my heart again. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t felt some sense of guilt and responsibility for his homelessness, and I admit that I worry this new stability may result in another bout of self-destructive, self sabotaging behavior in his life.
Ok WOAH there, Miss Codependent Recovery! Pump the breaks there, sister! I don’t need to worry about his behavior anymore. He lives on the other side of the country, his actions no longer impact my life and I have no stake in what he does from here on out. He can live his life however he sees fit, even if that is being a homeless gypsy. More power to him.
Is that letting go? I think that’s letting go…..yep. Letting go, for sure. Huzzah! That is going in my newly minted Blessings Jar.
Another thing I realized this morning that I missed was photography. I started a photography project on http://www.365project.org back in 2010 and while I was furiously searching for a photo of my Blessings Jar I got to parooze all my old uploaded photos and you know what I said? “Damn, girl! You got skills!” It further reminded me that I used to be that lady who looked at every day through a lens of gratitude and often took a picture of it. Just one more sign that I am ready and willing to give myself what I call a “Gratitude Adjustment”. It’s time. I’m ready. I’m willing. I’m able. More important, I want to. I finally want to.
Get ready, family, co-workers, city and internet. You may be about to get covered in a shower of ooey, gooey grateful goodness. I promise it will annoy the crap out of you, but hopefully it will also make you smile and be just the tiniest bit infectious. So, gird your loins, People cuz it’s coming for ya.