Years ago I had zero gratitude. I was too angry at the world and all the people who had hurt me for that. I would get angry at anyone that would suggest I should be grateful, and instead felt like the world owed me for how broken I was.
Learning to be grateful started slow for me, but then suddenly it clicked. As I came out of my big breakdown and started to feel a little better, I started to be able to appreciate the little things. I remember one day in particular that I was soooooo stressed out at school. I was on my way to take a test but I had a few extra minutes first so I found a nice spot and laid down in the grass and let the sun shine down on me. That sun felt better than anything had felt for a long time. For that moment I didn't have to stress, I just got to enjoy the sunshine. Soon I could write a super long gratitude list in a matter of seconds, because I realized that I'm grateful for grass and sun and mountains and my car and my home and my dishwasher and...well you get the idea. We talked about gratitude in one of my treatment groups back then and one of the women there got so mad that I had so much to write about and she had nothing to be grateful for. It made me chuckle a bit inside because I was still in a pretty shitty place then...but it was cool to show her my list. She thought about it for a sec and said, "yeah I guess I'm grateful for those things too. I didn't think of doing it like THAT!" lol
Gratitude is all about perspective, and one of the things I'm most grateful for is my perspective. As you probably know since you're reading this...I came from a pretty ugly past. Back then I thought that gave me reason not to be grateful for anything because damnit the world was an ugly place and no one could ever understand my pain. But now it's different. The ugliness I lived through allows me to see the beauty in the little things around me. Anyone can say they appreciate the little things...those little moments of peace/happiness in the world...and maybe they do...but I feel like I appreciate them on a deeper level because I truly know how bad it can be. It's just like the example I've used before on here...You can appreciate having food to eat, but you can't really and truly appreciate it to your core until you've had to go hungry. The more you've been without, the more having even a little bit means. It's like after you've been out sick for a week, how suddenly just being able to stand up and go for a short walk without coughing/sneezing/puking is the absolute best thing ever...when before your sickness you probably never gave it much thought.
I had a hockey game tonight. It was the first game of our big final tournament. We lost by 9, and a lot of my team was really frustrated and pissed off, but I couldn't stop smiling. After this last week, with emotional pain beyond anything I've ever experienced before, I was so happy to be out on the ice and free just to let loose and play. In that moment hockey was the absolute greatest gift that could've been given to me. I didn't care what the score was, or even that we were losing. I couldn't explain my emotional week to my teammates but it was genuinely weird to see some of them so upset when I felt so good. So I'm grateful for hockey and grateful for my perspective. :) And grateful that the intense emotional pain seems to be lifting and I'm catching glimpses of the rainbow after the storm.