My Journey from Discovery to Acceptance to Change
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Hope Through Authenticity

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Gratefulness and Adult Children

Last week, I wrote about being truly grateful for the everyday things of life. You have to be MINDFUL of the day-to-day. I presented one approach for expressing gratitude to your significant other. By the way, I just sent him his two sentences!

I mentioned the book The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan and I’m going to draw on that again. Her chapter titled ‘Raising Grateful Kids’ was insightful – explaining why my 21-year-old sometimes may seem a bit more entitled than grateful. Let me quote the book:

“It struck me that they were secretly grateful for the help, but even more chagrined that they couldn’t yet handle the world by themselves.”

Not Grateful Kids ... Grateful Parents

So, rather than worry about my children’s gratefulness journey, I want to be MINDFUL of my gratefulness for and about them. Like before, I’m searching for specifics because specifics are more authentic and that forces me to be in the moment. Here goes:

  • Today, I am grateful that Sydney wanted to share her frustration over a professor with me.
  • Today, I am grateful that Brian was willing to take his Saturday night and spend it with my parents.
  • Today, I am grateful that Angelena trusts me enough to read a book I suggested regarding career paths.

Easy. I probably couldn’t do it every day because I don’t speak or see my kids that often. But, when I do it, I am sending them my positive energy and positive energy is good for the world.

Annoyed and Grateful???

What I can do – and will try to be INTENTIONAL about – is every time I get annoyed, I can honor that annoyance (it’s there anyway, I may as well give it time) AND then find a grateful statement to balance it. Like this:

  • I’m annoyed that Sydney responds to Dave’s texts and seems to ignore mine.
  • I’m grateful that Sydney has a father like Dave and that she’s willing to reach out to him when she needs encouragement. And, I’m grateful that she reaches out to me when she needs that pure honesty.

Am I still annoyed about the texts? Yes, but maybe not as much. I was able to frame that annoyance in other truths. The new frame reduced the power of the annoyance.

Notice, though, that I did NOT excuse her behavior or blame myself. (I could have easily told myself that she doesn’t respond to me because she likes Dave better because Dave is a better parent because he give hugs because …. Spiral downward if I’m not careful).

Will I do this every time? No. Will I try to remember to use it? Yes.

One more for today because I’m in the moment and paying attention:

  • Today, I am grateful that Brian likes soccer and is willing to watch it with Dave so I don’t have to!

When you look at your children, what specific thing can you be grateful for? Specific to that child in this moment!

RESOURCES

The Gratitude Diariesby Janice Kaplan: https://smile.amazon.com/Gratitude-Diaries-Looking-Bright-Transform-ebook/dp/B00SI02C3C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1538593618&sr=8-1&keywords=the+gratitude+diaries

PS – for my dog

Sodapop, today I am grateful that you like to be by my side even if that means you have to go up and down the steps!

PSS – for my kitten

HMMMM … my brain is empty! … Dave added this for the cat: He wants to be close to you so badly throughout the day that he winds himself around your laptop – even if it knocks your papers everywhere! HMMMMM

cat on laptop with Decide to Hope being pushed off the table
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    June with Purple Hair

    In April 2012 I had a mental breakdown. The real thing. I have about 36 hours that I don’t remember....

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  • All of my novels, at least so far, have an element of mental illness within a character.  Decide to Hope is the most autobiographical in that I struggle in many ways exactly as the female protagonist. 
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