Three months ago, I stopped writing my monthly gratitude post that I had been writing regularly and diligently for more than a year. It’s not that I don’t believe in gratitude anymore. I still do. I still sit down for a few minutes every single day to dwell upon what I am grateful for on that day. Some days I write it down in my little diary. Yes, it helps me feel positive even if for a few minutes. And yes we all need to take stock and be grateful for what we have in our lives, especially the things we take for granted like our family and loved ones, friends, our work and everything else that enriches us and makes us what we are.
Then why did I stop writing the posts? A few reasons:
I had a meniscus tear in my knee during the start of April this year. Initially, I thought that was a sprain of the kind that I had many years ago. It took me more than a month to reach out to a doctor who then diagnosed it for me. The journey from then to now has been of a very slow recovery and lots of disappointments. There have been more downs than ups. Every time I feel that I am back to normal, there is a roadblock. It has needed a lot of tears, patience and encouragement of loved ones to regain my motivation to stay focused on healing and getting better. Imagine not being able to bend your knee and walk around for someone as active as I am! It gutted me. And though I tried to keep up the positive note, I could not any more. I felt as if I was being untruthful when I wrote my gratitude posts on health and fitness. I wasn’t happy or even remotely grateful about why I got my injury and how I was struggling with pain and mobility. Today, I am much better and with physiotherapy that I started a couple of months back, I am feeling more ‘normal’ and in tune with my body. We never know how much we crave normal till that normal is snatched away from us. I still have a few months to go till I am totally back to where I was but I am so grateful for reaching here that I am okay with putting in all the work that is needed. Also, I read the signals better and am less judgmental about my own progress. When the body says no, I stop. If it starts hurting, I take a step back.
There is a bunch of stuff that is going on in my life that I am not comfortable sharing publicly especially the private stuff. It makes the gist of how my month unfolded and of my challenges and triumphs. As someone who prides on being upfront and honest, I felt that I was holding back too much to do justice to new gratitude posts every month. I don’t want to be judged. I don’t want to share my deepest joys or sorrows with every random person out there. So what I ended up sharing was very general stuff. And it got boring and repetitive even to me. You know how you do something but your heart is not really into it.
I felt that a lot of stuff I wrote may feel like bragging because we only tend to share achievements when we talk of gratitude. I personally dislike bragging. While I am aware that I am only sharing my happiness at a certain achievement, it may seem to others that I hardly ever speak of the pitfalls. I wanted to avoid doing that, further pruning what I could speak about.
It’s strange that we put stuff out there and still feel that most people would not read what we wrote. I know for a fact that a bunch of people who know me in real life and are not close to me read what I write. It is like telling your deepest secrets to a stranger on a bus. And one wouldn’t wish to do that. Hence, I have been cutting back on sharing more of my life, especially that involving my immediate family. Don’t want unnecessary judgment and unsolicited advice.
Thus, I put a stop to my gratitude posts on the blog. It stopped serving the purpose for which I was writing them. I still practise gratitude which was the original intent when I began writing the posts. As to whether it makes life easier, I am not sure, but it makes us appreciate things more which is a good start. But gratitude is not a magical wand that will make your problems vanish. It may provide you a way to deal with them better.
More power to all my friends whose posts I love reading every month. A special shout out to Vidya, whose kindness and ability to see happiness in the worst of times is an inspiration to me and so many others and whose Gratitude circle was the reason I started writing these posts.
Today morning, I read a post that Shantala wrote that resonated completely with me. And I dug out this one from my drafts to publish.
Let me know if you practise gratitude.
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