Recently, it has come to my attention that in trying to give Baby Reinvention the life I didn’t have she may have missed out on the opportunity to grow in gratitude.
I am trying to figure out how to teach her gratitude and fulfillment without exposure to trauma and hardship.
And I don’t know if it’s sticking.
We are so very rich in everything that we have supporting us daily. We have a wonderful life. Mr. Reinvention and I have done our very best to provide our little with a life full of love and opportunity. We have made decisions for her based on what we felt would be best for her growth. But somehow she is not connecting the dots between the fact that we worked hard to be where we are and continue to do so. The fact that there are so many people who live under much different circumstances for no other reason than luck.
Part of me is really frustrated at her for being this way. The part of me that was that little girl who could never do extracurricular activities because there was no money. That little girl who moved so much and was embarrassed by the car we drove around and where we lived and the clothing I had to wear. The little girl who was a latch key kid at 7 because mom had to work. That little girl feels really hurt and upset that Baby Reinvention can’t see our wealth. The value in having a safe home, loving adults, basic needs met and plenty of enrichment. Some of these necessities Mr. Reinvention and I lacked in our childhoods.
Adult me knows that she can’t see because of the life we have created for her. Adult me knows that my feelings are not Baby’s problem but mine. These are my issues to own.
Gratitude can be a tough concept for those of us living in this world of immediate gratification where everything new, shiny and bright is a mouse click away. It can be almost unfathomable that truly the only reason we are living in a sea of stuff and choices is because we were born in a country where even our impoverished live in luxury comparative to other places in the world. We simply can’t grasp how good we have it. Our first world problems (and I’m not judging as I am guilty too) someone else some place else would accept gladly.
What do I do to practice gratitude and hopefully live that message? These are some things that make me feel active in my practice.
- If I feel it then I say it. I describe whatever birthed that feeling of wonder and awe in our world.
- If I can spare it then I do. I try to give whenever and however I can.
- I try really, really, really hard to stay in the present moment and be fully immersed in that place and time.
- I laugh.
- I hug or snuggle.
- I go to the beach.
- I move my body- because I am healthy and I can!
- I remember that someone else would gladly ask for a second helping of whatever my shit sandwich of the moment is.
- I say “Thank you!”
- I release the past and forgive.
So our work continues. Mine, Baby’s and the entire family. In the meantime, I am grateful (wink, wink) because she is a helluva teacher.
How do you live in gratitude?
Do you think this is a lesson that can be taught or must be witnessed?