May is a month of gratitude and vulnerability for me. I am taking this opportunity to be vulnerable with the people I love and to cultivate gratitude in my daily life.
I’m even keeping a daily gratitude journal. Each day, I list 5 things I’m grateful for from that day. Some days I struggle with what to write. Some days I could write volumes.
Do I feel more grateful?
Do I feel that I am cultivating authentic gratitude?
Sigh. I don’t know.
Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful for all of the many, many blessings I have in my life. I’m even grateful for the struggles.
Well, some of them.
Okay…I’m not there yet.
I admit that I have a hard time in some areas of my life where I can’t find any ways to show gratitude. I try, but it just isn’t there for me.
And that makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong. Like gratitude is a stumbling block for me.
So, if I’m stumbling in the gratitude department, what does vulnerability look like at the moment?
It kind of sucks, depending on the day. I’ve felt a really comfortable vulnerability in some interactions lately, but I’ve also found myself putting up walls as a result of my insecurities.
It’s really hard to have it both ways.
What is the ultimate vulnerability for me right now?
I’m a fraud.
I’m a big ‘ol fake…a phony…an ingrate!
There. I’ve said it.
In this journey through gratitude and vulnerability, there are days when I am just not grateful. And that makes me feel like a fraud…hence, fraudulent gratitude!
fraud·u·lent: unjustifiably claiming or being credited with particular accomplishments or qualities.
While I feel grateful that I’m so much more aware and mindful of my actions, I’m not grateful for my awareness and mindfulness when I’m reminded that my lack of these things in the past has caused myself and others pain.
In my path of recovery, I have been encouraged to be grateful for the changes in me, but I am not grateful for the mental and physical struggles I have had and still have.
Saying I’m grateful for my eating disorders or for the weight I’ve gained…just empty words.
Being grateful that I have so many wonderful opportunities reminds me that I still haven’t found what is authentically me…and that feels a lot less grateful.
As I’m writing this, I see the trap I’ve fallen into. In this gratitude and vulnerability quest, I’ve forgotten a very important thing…
Don’t time travel!
No, not the science fiction time travelling. Mental time travelling. Going backwards and forwards in time to avoid the present…though the present is truly the only time that matters.
What’s so wrong with the present?
- My mind and my body are in a constant battle, and I feel I’m the one losing.
- My work is not fulfilling but my extracurriculars are.
- I feel I can’t share my dreams and goals freely because people will think I’m “silly.”
- I’m limiting myself and my own authenticity.
In order to overcome these things I feel are “wrong,” I have to truly be vulnerable…with myself and others. I have to cultivate a raw, authentic gratitude for things as they are and not as I wish they were.
I’ve been reading articles on being authentic with yourself. One really good one (read it here) suggests doing all of the things I’m avoiding with my time travelling. Authenticity is not comfortable or easy, but neither is vulnerability. While both traits are difficult, the reward for expressing them is infinite.
Want to know how being vulnerable can expand your world? Read about it here.
Gratitude seems to be the bridge between vulnerability and authenticity. I’m hoping that my conscious expressions of gratitude daily will offer me a glimpse of the possibilities that lie ahead.
The big lesson here for me is to be grateful and vulnerable so I can ultimately be all of my authentic, wonderful, flawed self.
How do you cultivate authentic gratitude?
Lest I forget…the gratitude journal continues!
Thursday, May 5
- Identifying what is important to me.
- Having friends with vision and encouragement.
- Cool mornings and warm afternoons.
- Groundbreaking epiphanies.
- Seeing glimpses of who I have the potential to be.
Friday, May 6
- Having lunch with one of my oldest BFFs.
- Iced coffee in the afternoon.
- Best real estate agent EVER!!!
- Chick-fil-a waffle fries and their indoor playground.
- Creative brainstorming!
Saturday, May 7
- Nature walk with my family, led by Rudy Mancke. Everybody had a great time and saw lots of cool stuff!
- Amazing May weather!!!
- Falling asleep on the couch.
- Receiving patient help when I’m on the verge of frustration.
- Getting that trampoline put back together!
Sunday, May 8
- The love shown to me by my baby girls and hubby today and every day.
- Fresh, local strawberries.
- Being aware of my flaws.
- Hot showers.
- The ability to blog about the difficult stuff.
See where it all began (last week) with gratitude and vulnerability…click here!
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