Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gratitude Can Change Your Attitude (Marnie)

I would rather puke than listen to one more married person with a husband and 3.5 children tell me I should be grateful that I’m still single. I personally think that these comments should be outlawed. These insensitive individuals should have to pay some huge fine for their hurtful comment or at least spend a few days in jail. Because I didn’t marry their stupid husband or raise their rotten kids! Why should I be grateful to be single because they choose unwisely and created their own mess??

Unfortunately, they are completely right. But not for the reason they say.

I’ve found as I’ve made goals to improve my social life, work on my relationship skills, and even to get married (I’m on my third official goal now!! 2010 is MY YEAR!!), keeping the faith and trusting God has been REALLY tough. Just when I’m doing well, something happens and I seem to lose my footing and just start to fall apart. Sometimes I can stop it, but sometimes I just crash and burn…

We’ve been told to be grateful. I think it’s even a commandment. Well, from experience I know it helps me deal with my singleness – as crazy as that sounds. And remembering to be grateful helps me get out of that low place I find myself in.

Because on paper – discounting my hopes and dreams for a future family being unfulfilled – my life is not all that bad. I have a good stable job that I enjoy most of the time. I have a home and car that runs most of the time – neither are perfect - but they are a lot better than I thought I would have. I was blessed with a great family and parents that don’t give me any guilt trips about not living up to the goal of producing grandchildren for them – the one thing parents desire most when they hit 65 years old. I have great friends that keep track of me as though I am family – while I live far from my family. They have been the consistency a single person needs. Even as most of them have moved on and married, they still keep me a part of their life. And for some strange reason, they still want to hear my horrible, horror stories from my dating experiences. Go figure.

I think remembering all these things helps keep me positive about my future. Why? Because when you look at your life – really look at it – God blesses you so much. But you HAVE to recognize it. If you don’t see it, you can’t feel that love from God, which is so essential in dealing with the stresses of earthly existence. When I do take the time to realize how much I have and how much God has been a part of my life and blessed me, I am truly humbled and realize that focusing on what I don't have is not the point of it all and that it only makes me miserable.

Well, what if you don’t have a great job, or you are in debt up to your ears, live your life the very best you can every single day, and you are STILL unmarried? That seems even MORE unfair. But I can PROMISE you that if you examine your life, you’ll see how God watches out for you every day – how he helps you. Sometimes a whole lot in one day. It’s funny how quick we are to say a good thing is from luck or even from our own doing. We are very self-centered that way. (At least I know I am.) But if we take the time every day to recognize how God is in our life, we will appreciate everything so much more and will find that the void we feel – the lack of a husband and our children – won’t hurt as much. We’ll feel more love from God and will realize that he cares about every aspect of our being. And that he understands our pain and loneliness. And that he has a very special plan for us. Sure, we may not like our plan – or at least this part of the plan – but it is our own and it’s perfect for our progression.

Enjoying the journey is the hardest thing in the world for me - especially when the journey isn't what I planned. But appreciating what you have and recognizing the hand of God in your life while you go through the hard journey makes it a lot easier.

Pres. Henry B. Eyring tells of how he began a long time ago to write in his journey every single day about how God had a hand in his life and blessed him and his family. It changed everything for him. Well, I’m terrible at journals – but I’m going to do a 30 day experiment. I’m going to do what President Eyring did. I’m going to record every night how God helped me that day. Even if it’s that he gave me several green lights that got me to work on time when I was running late. My hope is that it will help keep me more grounded and help me give credit where credit is due. And most especially, help me find that happiness that only comes from feeling true gratitude for my life.