The flip side of gratitude

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, gratitude is a hot topic this month. Well...it's really always a hot topic, thanks to Oprah and every self-help book, ever. And don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE believer of gratitude and appreciation in my life. But I want to share a story from my own experience where it actually wasn't serving me.

Back in 2015, I was working full time at a job I enjoyed. I had a great husband and a great house and a great daughter and a great life. But I wanted more, and, well... I felt bad about that. I wanted to live near my parents and my brother. I wanted to go home to North Carolina, and long summers and short winters and the smell of baking pine needles. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Well, I thought so. I made all that wanting mean that I was an ungrateful little BLEEP.* (*edited content)

The conversation in my head went something like this: "Seriously?? Your life is great. You're so lucky! So many people are nowhere near as fortunate as you. How DARE you want more?  Who do you think you are?"

I was ashamed of myself.

And so, I stuffed down my wants. I tried to force myself to be more grateful to cover up my shame.  It looked good on the outside (or so I thought), but inside I was aching.

In February of 2016, as I stood in front of a roomful of people, a coach asked me what I was so sad about.  I broke down right then and there.  It took that question for me to finally admit to all the unhappiness I'd been covering up. 

Four months later, my family and I moved back to North Carolina.  Practicing gratitude these days has never been easier.

I'm sharing this story because I learned a big huge lesson about listening to the whispers of my heart, and I hope it resonates. I hope maybe it gives someone else permission to unapologetically want what they want, and have the courage to go and get it. 

You are deserving of happiness.  You are worthy of your wildest dreams.

Love and gratitude to each of you, friends. Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving.

Kristin Baker1 Comment