I hate when people say, “It could always be worse.” Like we should be grateful our horrible situation is what it is and not worse. For…..
I hate when people say, “It could always be worse.” Like we should be grateful our horrible situation is what it is and not worse. For example, you get separated because your spouse was cheating and people say, “Well, it could be worse. I have a friend getting divorced and the wife is already getting remarried.” That bugs me. In the guest post below, Dr. Lisa Kaplin, certified life coach talks about how to experience gratitude in a more productive way.
Some Thanksgiving Musings on Doing Gratitude by Dr. Lisa Kaplin
What if we are doing this gratitude thing all wrong? Here’s how I hear people doing gratitude: “It’s too bad your basement flooded, but you should just be grateful that your pipes didn’t burst. That’s much worse.” “I’m so sorry that you have cancer, but you should just be grateful that the kind you have is treatable.” “I’m sorry that your mom died, but you should just be grateful that she didn’t suffer.”
So how can we do gratitude better? What if gratitude was like good cold medicine? Cold medicine doesn’t cure a cold, but it certainly makes us feel slightly less miserable when we have that cold. What if even in the midst of suffering, sadness, or aggravation, we found something else to be grateful for? What if gratitude was actually the antidote to some of our suffering versus the comparison to others as an excuse to be grateful?
The week my basement flooded was a frustrating one. My house was in chaos, it smelled bad, and the bills were adding up with frightening speed. Well-meaning friends said to me, “Be grateful that it was clean water.” Or “You are lucky that your floor wasn’t ruined.” But I didn’t feel very lucky or grateful about my flooded basement. I was aggravated. Instead I searched for other things in life that I was grateful for such as my children, our health, my silly dog, and a favorite book. I used gratitude to sooth my frustrations about my messy basement.