Every November many of us spend the month posting or blogging daily about people and things we are grateful for. It’s always a cathartic experience. It makes other people feel good, and it makes us feel good to see that we made them feel appreciated and seen.
But this year, something guided me to try something different. I don’t know where it came from. But I do believe I was meant to receive the message. Because I needed it. And if I need it, I know there are other people who need it as well.
Here’s the idea. A gratitude list to yourself. I know. It sounds conceited. But it isn’t.
Most of us are often quick to compliment other people, lift them up, help them remember who they are. But most of us are not so good at doing that for ourselves. Like they say, we are our own worst critics.
The truth is that we judge ourselves. Harshly. It’s not often that we give ourselves credit for what we do well in life. And if we do, we usually feel like we are bragging. But it’s usually most evident when someone stops to give us a compliment that is really heartfelt, and it brings tears to our eyes. That happens because whatever it is is something that is not usually acknowledged by us, or anyone. At least not aloud. It makes us see a side of ourselves that we don’t usually pay attention to. A good one. A critically important one.
So I’m just asking you to try it. November has 30 days. Make a list of 30 things you truly appreciate and respect about yourself. If you’re having trouble, ask your child or a close friend if they can tell you one thing THEY appreciate about you. Only one! And you can’t use that one because that’s cheating. ￼Start trying to see yourself through your children’s eyes. Through your best friend’s eyes. Through your parents’ eyes.￼ Through the eyes of your pets!
And then try seeing it for yourself. You will be floored at how much good you actually do in the world, whether it’s good for yourself, good for your children, good for your family and friends, or good for strangers. You will undoubtedly find something about yourself that you never even considered was amazing about you.
My friends, this is a gratitude list you should keep. Frame it. Put it on your wall for the bad days. Because it’s all too easy to see the bad. Seeing the good is hard. But without it, we spiral into depression, low self-esteem, and we forget the good parts of ourselves. The reasons we’re still alive. I always say as long as we are drawing breath, our purpose on this life is not over and there is still work for us to do. When our work is done, our lives will be over.
If you’re reading this, you are alive. You are doing good in the world. What is it?