|The day before Thanksgiving I had lunch with my extended family. Over lunch we had a conversation about food and health. I shared that I had joined Weight Watchers because of my realization that my diet and portion size had gotten out of control. Living with a husband and two sons who are always hungry, and who burn about 400,000 calories a day, it makes sense that I’d lost track of what I needed for me!
I shared that Weight Watchers points were calculated based on a combination of calories and fiber, and that after a few months of counting points, I hoped to be regulated to what was a “normal” amount of food for me.
The next words out of my mouth were that I was going to go home and bake all the deserts for our Thanksgiving meal the next day! Which led my dad to ask, “Are you going to put Metamucil in the pies, so they have lower Weight Watchers points?’ Which led to peals of laughter and me creating a new recipe for “Pooping Pumpkin Pie” which includes instructions to “add once cup Metamucil” and then “sprinkle top of pie with remaining fiber and toast in hot oven until golden brown.” (Please do NOT try this at home! 😊This is only a joke!)
What is Gratitude?
All this joking about poop and Thanksgiving got me thinking about gratitude. Too often we think of gratitude in terms of positives. About all the good and pleasant things in our lives that we are grateful for. DUHHHHH! Of course, we are grateful for the good things in our lives! Being grateful for the good is really nothing more than counting your blessings.
Counting our blessings is nice, and it can remind us of all the good things around us that we sometimes overlook but being grateful for what’s already good doesn’t stretch us or inspire us to grow. Finding gratitude for the poop does.
Not in a Pollyanna sort of way but in a deep, authentic sort of way.
Why Gratitude Helps You Feel Better
Finding gratitude for the bad, sad, and disappointing things that have happened and may still be happening in your life is where the rubber hits the road. It’s where you grow, change, rewire your mindset, and start to become. Become wise, calm, happy, more understanding, secure, compassionate, kind, or more Christ-like. Whatever it is for you, you become better.
When you are able to find even an iota of authentic gratitude for your trauma or pain, for the gifts brought forth by your trauma or pain, everything changes. Instead of being ruled by conditions, you become free. Free to live, love, express, and feel. Because you are no longer afraid that things will go wrong, pull you off center, or “steal your happiness.” No matter what happens, good or bad, you will be okay because you have the power to see (and feel) the good in everything. Because there is nowhere good is not.
And if you hear what I’m saying but can’t get there quite yet, that’s okay too! Your only task is to be where you are. Just remember that freedom, joy, and becoming all that you want to be, is found through the power of gratitude. Not gratitude for the good, but gratitude for the bad or challenging as well.
Simple Gratitude Practice – With a Twist!
I’ve attached a copy of Gratitude ABC’c a fun activity I’ve done with my family every year on Thanksgiving. This season, instead of down the good and positive things you are grateful for, try listing the stressors, challenges, and difficulties you have faced that you are grateful for. For example, my paper might look something like this:
A – Addiction: I’m grateful for the lessons around addiction and codependency I learned from my alcoholic boyfriend in college.
Your turn! What poopy things are you grateful for?
What might shift in your heart and in your life if you could feel gratitude for everything. Not just for your blessings?
Have a Happy Holiday Season! May they be filed with a certain amount of poop!