Monday, November 02, 2009

An Attitude of Gratitude

I am naturally a very negative person. I like to think it's "realistic", as all of us pessimists would say. If something bad happens in a day I will usually define my day as "sucky". As a pessimist, I tend to fear the worst and dread the best. But 12 years ago, God rained a little irritating sunshine into my miserable existence and ever since I have been doing battle with a perpetually positive and perky individual. She stormed my life with her cheer and constant annoying habit of finding something good in everything. She was a Pollyanna to my Grinch. What I have at times thought of as "fake" I have now realized in simply innate in her. As I put my energies into twisting everything into being a "sad reality" she puts her energies into finding the "good in it". In the 12 years of knowing her a little of this pleasantness has gratefully begun to colour my thinking. As I began to realize that things are how we choose to see them, I have realized that my reality is as real as hers and her reality could be mine if I was willing to put the energy into it. I have found myself at times thinking, "How would Becca think about this?" I have even startled myself by actually choosing her thoughts over mine. I find more and more I WANT to think positively. I WANT to see the good in things. I WANT to be grateful. I have spent so much time miserable that it is so easy to go there, but part of me is caught up in the sunshine and wants to stay there. I hope that more and more of me will get dragged there, and that I can begin to see things with the glorious "attitude of gratitude" which I believe is a Biblical view of the world.

I have begun to ask God to show me things to be grateful for. I don't want to miss even the most minute things, and so far I have seen with new eyes the tap in my house that provides me all the water I need. It is drinkable, and can be hot or cold on demand. I have seen with new eyes the roll of toilet paper that is an absolute luxury. I am so grateful to have decorations in my house that are an absolute ostentatious display of the wealth of our household, but, I think, make it a beautiful little home. Even on my hard days with the kids, I am so thankful that I have them as I know too many people who have not been able to keep theirs.

Many times this gratitude is of a forced and concerted effort, but I think it is enriching my life and makes it no less "real". I am so grateful for my beautiful friend who has seen my in my most monster-ish form, loved me anyway, and was bold enough to force me to see some of her reality for myself. Although I have been a storm cloud in her sky many times, she doesn't hold this against me, and has even thanked me (yes, it's true) for being an influence in her life. I think God grants us friends like this to colour our lives for the better, but I hope never to diminish her light. I am grateful to have someone show me the way to a new perspective, a holier perspective, one filled with more light and more beauty that I ever thought my grumpy little self could manage.


Rebecca said...

Oh my...I am humbled and honored my dear friend. How I MISS YOU!!!

Miss Cole said...

that was beautifully written *sigh*

Jen said...

i just discovered your blog. man, i love your "realness." i absolutely cannot wait to see you again in the Spring. -Jen

SRLoftis said...

Hey Erika,
You made me cry. Because I know exactly how you feel when you talk about negativity. Lately, I've struggled to find the good in things too, but you've given me a little hope. Thank you.