I woke up this morning feeling feisty, probably because I feel fully rested for the first time in weeks. (I went to bed at 6 pm.) There are many topics that I could write about today--because lessons are coming at me a mile a minute--but I'm going to write about the most contraversial one I can think of. This will not sound spiritual, but I don't care. With all the talk about gratitude going on, my advice to you is: Do NOT count your blessings.
What I am finding is that people are confusing gratitude with fear or obligation. I'm hearing people who don't like their jobs saying that they're grateful that they at least have a job, when so many people are losing theirs. Sorry, this isn't about gratitude; this statement is about survival. And survival is fear based. It's the human animal trying to survive at all costs, even at the cost of the human spirit.
I'm getting preached at by some ex-friends that I should be grateful to people who have helped me in the past. Here's another insight: the words "gratitude" and "should" do not belong together in a sentence. "Should" is about obligation; it's about debt. It's saying, I did you a favor and you owe me. Again this has nothing to do with gratitude.
Gratitude is a form of love, folks. It bubbles up from a heart that is so full, that it can't help but express itself. It bubbles up from joy; it bubbles up from the soul. It cannot be forced, as no form of love can be forced. Can you imagine saying to someone, "You should love me"? How do you tell a heart to love? In the same way, you cannot tell someone else that they should be grateful. And you cannot force yourself to be grateful out of fear that if you are not, you will lose what you have.
Fake gratitude is as yucky as fake spirituality. For God's sake, do not count your blessings. If there is something that is unacceptable in your relationship or at work, speak up. Say "no" to anything that does not serve you. Do not keep saying yes out of a false sense of loyalty to some outside force. Love yourself enough to let others know when something isn't working. But don't belabor what isn't working. Once you've said no, then ask yourself what it is you do want. Focus on the positive. Focus on creating a life of joy, not one of survival.