On feelings, spirals and Frank Sinatra thoughts
It’s unfairly ironic that to experience the best the universe can offer one, is to be grateful for the chosen offer before receiving it. In other words, to pre-feel what it’ll feel like once you get to feel what you want to feel. Alright, I admit, epic fail at “in other words” (…”hold my haaaand“, sings Frank Sinatra in some studio inside my head. Anyway…)
I always write these sort of posts for the proverbial “someone, somewhere” who might need it. I know I did, at the point in my life when prayers were breathed out like a desperate gust that blew out the flame, extinguishing any hope immediately after its expression, as the little ”neeeh-ver gonna happen” voice inside my head took precedence over the one that dared to hope.
It was a spiral, and I was going down. I knew I had to do something about it, but the only thing I knew how to, was to desperately pray when all hell broke loose – and once again, ending up immediately thinking (therefore, feeling and consequently believing) that it was only a shout into the abyss.
Any article, any inspirational talk or piece of music on gratitude, only had the opposite effect. How could I feel grateful for being happy, when happiness is what I lacked, and what I so hopelessly sought to manifest? It was absurd! Even if I managed it for a few minutes I always ended up reverting to the old “nah” ideology, and gave up. Nothing, no spiritual or emotional talk, or belief, worked – because I didn’t believe it would – before giving it a chance to.
Mind games, Gratitude and Checkmate
It was almost as if my mind and heart had taken to their proverbial rivalry and would never play for the same team – me. Years of conditioning and listening to the naysayers (most of whom are among one’s closest circles, mind you), had driven a wedge between the two, and reconciliation seemed in God’s hands. So, instead, I decided to try and play a trick on both, and, for once, be “mindful” – manipulating both to play for the same team (thinking it’s only for about a moment at most) – and decided to be grateful in a more physical, rather than emotional kind of way, by doing what I can do – writing. The classic, simple, largely propagated and celebrated move.
I began working on a “Gratitude list“. It wasn’t anything fancy with colours or well thought out content, but I had to start with three reasons at least, I thought – including the silliest of things I was grateful for, (and see if it went any further). I was surprised, dear reader, by how many things ended up being on my list and how contentedly I slept that night – a rare and extraordinary feat in itself (something else, to be grateful for?). My trick move seemed to have been a checkmate, and no guesses for who the happy victor was!
Confessions of a former annoyee
I do not make these lists everyday, dear reader, nor do I feel happy all the time, but gratitude has been coming on to me so gradually that it has almost become a part of my nature now; so much so that even in the worst situations, I can see an overpoweringly bright silver lining, something that earlier annoyed the hell out me when people did it.
I know it’s not much, but for anyone who is really struggling right now, or even if you’re not, take a moment and indulge yourself in such a list, where you talk about the (non pandemic related) reasons – (no matter how silly), why, say, this year didn’t suck for YOU. You will be surprised by how many reasons you end up having and how the positive changes just begin to usher in, and your mindset begins shifting, along with your life. It’s all in one’s outlook – how easy, is it not? But unlearning to complicate things for ourselves is something we simply have to do, and though it seems like everyone would just LOVE to get rid of their baggage – when the opportunity does present itself, most people would want nothing more than to hold on. How’s that for ironic?
Take it from someone who has been (and still goes) through, the kind of depths of sorrow it seemed (/seems) impossible to emerge from, and a former “annoyee” (or anything you might call someone who gets annoyed) of all things “self help” related, I ASSURE you this feels cathartic in its process and, well…magical in the outcome. I would never have shared this if it didn’t.
Let me know how you fare!
Before I leave
For anyone who’d like to know what I wrote, it started like this –
I am grateful for –
My book getting published this year,
My master’s degree,
Successfully baking a good cake!
(Like I said, no matter how silly)!