One of my favourite daily practices is to do a gratitude journal in the morning. Just asking 3 things I’m grateful for, and being super specific (not just “food” but “the delicious avocado on toast I ate this morning”).
However, I was talking with my cousin’s girlfriend this week, and she mentioned something I thought was quite profound: being grateful for something doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it.
There is a stigma – especially for women – that they should be grateful to some external source for what they have because they are just lucky to have it, and none of the gratitude is for themselves. That we should be grateful for what we have, but at the same time, feel guilty about it, because we don’t deserve it. We’ve been icing our gratitude cake with a thick layer of guilt frosting.
And while there is almost always an element of luck involved with the things, experiences, resources and people you have in your life, gratitude is mutually exclusive to luck and deservedness and worthiness. Being grateful is only about being grateful. It’s got nothing to do with anything else.
In fact, the whole notion of “deserving” something has, in my opinion, gotten completely out of hand. In our society, we talk about “deserving a break” or “deserving a cup of tea”. If you think about it, it’s preposterous. You don’t need to justify a certain level of effort has been exerted before you can give your body and mind the things it needs. You would never ask a baby to do anything. It’s deserving of everything it needs (and wants) because it just exists. You being right here, that’s enough. You’re enough.
Dont punish yourself with guilt for the gifts you have received in this life. Treasure them and pay them forward.