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When Gratitude Doesn't Work

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We wanna be grateful
because we read everywhere
that being grateful
is what it takes
to be happy.

We name five things
each day
we feel
we should be
grateful for.

But as we go through
the motions
of filling a page
with items that should
make us feel abundant,

we can't stop feeling
lacking,
alone,
unfulfilled and
sad.

But being grateful
doesn't mean
halfheartedly
listing
all the things

we believe we should
be grateful for,
when all we wanna do, is
vent, judge and
cry.

Being grateful
needs
us to go to that space of
ugly, mad and
sad.

Because feeling grateful
can never come
from a place of
pretend and make believe
that all is well,

when that is not
how we really see
where we are in life --
right there,
right then.

Being grateful needs us to
courageously name
all the things we are not
genuinely
happy about.

Being grateful needs us to
be honest
with our selves,
gently blowing a sense of relief
through our veins,

as we give up
the charade of
pushing ourselves
to happy
from a place of pretend okay.

Because that honest place
of seeing the ugly
frees up the room and space
to see the beauty,
however counter-intuitive that might sound.

Allowing us to go to that honest place,
gives us the breathing space to
lovingly
see our selves,
however counter-intuitive that might seem.

Allowing us to go to that honest place
gives us the groundedness to
wholeheartedly
see even the smallest thing that feeds our soul
right now.

Because gratitude is not about
making a long list
of things
that actually don't speak
to our soul,

coming from a place of
pretend
happy
chasing more
happy.

Gratitude is about
letting
our souls
speak
to us

coming from a place of
unconditionally
unapologetically
accepting
where and who we are.

This is a poem in the Poetry for the Soul series, encouraging you to do your thing instead of living out everyone else's expectations and working hard to be flawlessly perfect. Because living their dream and abandoning yours is exhausting, unfulfilling and such a pity. You are so much more than you give yourself credit for. There's no need to hide what makes you YOU. We need your one-of-a-kind brilliance.

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