Happiness and Gratitude

by Queen Bee on 03/08/2013

Last week I visited the counselor that I have been seeing for the past six months and we talked about gratitude and happiness. I’ve been attending couples counseling for the past six months with her, and lately it seems that she wants to meet with me because it seems that some of the baggage that I carry around is more pressing than my boyfriend’s issues. I really feel that it is starting to make an impact not only on my relationship with my boyfriend, but also with my relationship with myself.

Last week she told me that we are going to rewire my thinking and brain because I have been conditioned as a child to think negatively since I have been surrounded by abuse, negativity and dysfunction since I was a small child. She thinks that I believe all of the abusive things that I have been told to me by my mother and other negative people in my life. And, for the first time in my life I really feel like I am going to start unloading some of the baggage that has been holding me back for so many years.

At our last session, she told me that she wants me to work on three things: 1) Highlighting and accentuating my strengths, and not believing the negative things that I think about myself; 2) Fixating on the positive and things that I am grateful or appreciative for or that make me happy; and, 3) Not allowing myself to be affected by other people’s dysfunctions. It sure sounds simple, but it’s going to take a lot of work and effort.

I recently discovered that somewhere along the line I learned to mute my strengths and be ashamed of them. I won’t take ownership of many of my strengths. I’m even embarrassed to start listing my strengths on my own blog. Since it’s so hard for me, I am going to slowly work up to it, but I will start with this: I am intelligent and creative. I feel myself getting red in the face just thinking it. But it’s true, so why do I act so ashamed? Every day I am going to try to highlight one of my strengths for myself, so that I can love my strengths and own them.

Tonight I’ve been thinking about a few things that I am happy about and that I am grateful for. My counselor thinks that my brain has been trained to look toward the negative, the crisis, the dysfunction, and that I do not feel comfortable just being happy. She asked me if I noticed that I am feeling more relaxed lately, and instead of saying that I feel more balanced and centered, I explained to her that I feel detached. It’s the only word that I can use to explain that I am not feeling in turmoil. So, she told me to take baby steps and write about one thing every day that makes me feel happy or grateful so that I can learn what it feels like to “just be”.

Since I am a few days behind schedule, I thought that I would highlight a few things that I am happy and grateful for:

  • I am happy that my boyfriend finally decided today that he would go on a vacation to Mexico with me in April. I am doing backflips, actually. Granted, his decision was the result of a huge fight where I cried my eyes out, but I am grateful that I was able to get out the hurt that I have been holding inside about feeling as if I am not a priority lately. And I am happy that he listened to me, apologized and compromised.
  • I am very happy that I posted two pictures of my cute niece on my boyfriend’s refrigerator. Putting the pictures on the fridge was overwhelming to me in a really good way, because I am in the process of slowly moving into his house and it made it feel like we are now a family together by posting pictures.
  • I am happy that I have a really great friend named Lucy who is amazing and smart and wonderful and sweet and progressive….and the list goes on and on. I would rather have less friends in my life just to have one friend like her.
  • I am ecstatic that the horrible boss at work who has been making everyone miserable for the past two years did not have his contract renewed. I feel like a huge stress has been relieved from my life.
  • I am happy that since I went on vacation that I feel like I am starting to overcome writer’s block.
  • I am ecstatic that I am starting to focus more on myself and what makes me happy. Lately I am not so work centered anymore and my stress is definitely relieved.
  • It makes me feel wonderful that after 16 years that my boyfriend and I tried for the first time to get pregnant last month. Although it didn’t work, I feel excited about the possibility to try again either this month or maybe next month.
  • I feel happy that I am starting to read activist books again that spark my dedication to social justice, and are giving me ideas as to how to be a better activist. And, I’m happy thinking about blogging about non violence, something that my friend Lucy has reminded me of lately.

What do you feel happy or grateful about? 


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

beri March 9, 2013 at 7:00 am

very nice list of things that make you happy….lucy seems kinda nice….ha ha….i have a buddy like that!!….she always makes me think outside the box…and she takes time to see me…as a single mom ….it gets lonely….she cheers me up…..that is pretty deep stuff that your counselor hit on…..i am glad she is helping you see the good that is always right before us….i struggle alot lately because my boyfriend of a few months is gone….and i need to celebrate the best in my life….and to embrace the sad things that shape me into who i am today


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