Green eyed monster and gratitude

Dorset Sunset 23/11/2014
Dorset Sunset 23/11/2014

I have never felt comfortable with jealousy or envy. We’ve all been there, and recently I”ve had a whole host of joyous things happen to my friends, from new babies, homes, kitchens, second homes and holidays. Plenty of excuses for the green eyed monster to emerge.

Thankfully, from an early age I was taught by my parents to be very grateful for what we had and be pleased for others if they appeared to have more. More often than not though it was a case of evaluating what appeared to be more, and offsetting it against things they didn’t have but we or other people did.

Later in life I came across ‘Gratitude girl’ ( Amanda Kroetsh)*I was listening to lots of audio interviews with successful business people. It wasn’t all about financial success but ‘joyful’ success. Fulfilling your dreams kind of success and having the energy and where with all to life that dream.

Amanda had a very moving story to tell. She was a very depressed and ungrateful child and young adult. She was certain her parents didn’t love her and felt that there wasn’t a single thing in her life to be grateful for. She spent all of her time moaning about what a terrible life she had and how unfair it was that everyone else around her had wonderful lives. One day, a close friend of her’s had had enough and questioned Amanda about her misery. ‘Surely there must be something that is good in your life?’
‘Nope, not a thing. Even my name is dreadful, I hate it and I’m sure my parents just called me Amanda because it was the most popular name at the time!’

That evening she thought about her friend’s words and about her painful memories of her mother. She wasn’t expecting anything to come of looking up her name’s meaning but thought she’d do it just to prove to her friend that her life really was terrible from start to finish.
To her surprise, ‘Amanda’ meant ‘worthy of love’.
This absolutely astounded her and immediately changed her perspective on everything. With floods of tears from that moment on she decided to believe that she was indeed worthy of love and saw all aspects of her life differently.
Amanda then went on to develop her ‘pizza theory’ . She realised that each and every one of us is dealt a ‘pizza’ at birth. It is divided up into ‘slices’ which represent your life. Health, wealth, family, belongings and joy. If you were to think of the value of your pizza as say, a million pounds, then imagine what sizes each slice is. Is your health slice a whopping half? Is your joy slice a tiny slither?
The next thing to do is think about what it is you want, that you don’t already have a slice of. For simplicity, imagine you want some more money. Which portion of your pizza would you exchange for the wad of cash? Not easy is it? Would you swap your kids, or family pets? What about health, would you be happy with a smaller portion of that?
Simple, or is it difficult? It can put a new perspective on every part of your life and an appreciation and gratitude for what you actually have already.
Funnily, when you become truly grateful for ALL that you have, your need for anything else diminishes. Life continues and overtime your pizza portions change to reflect what you need at that time.

The past few years have given me many occasions to ‘count my slices’ and be grateful.
Every stick has two ends, a positive and a negative end. If you’re stuck looking at the negative end, just turn the stick around!
We very often hear the phrase ‘I’d give anything for/to…..’ but would you really?

No matter what tests my body has put me through the past few years, there have been numerous positives. Some may seem ridiculous and some are real blessings. It doesn’t mean that ‘I’ve given up’ or ‘don’t want to get better’ it means that I’ve accepted the pizza I have now and am enjoying every mouthful! The amazing thing is that once I genuinely accepted and was grateful for my condition I could see it change, for the better!
As I am writing this I realise that our cousins across the pond are building up to celebrating ‘Thanksgiving’. The media are building it up to be the biggest spending spree on record with the ‘Black Friday ‘ sales but I have an inkling they may have got it wrong. There is a buzz around social media about what is important, family, friends and health. More and more of us are making, baking and creating. I don’t know about everyone else but my Facebook feed is full of wonderful ‘upcycling’ ideas, recipes for healthy treats and flash mobs singing uplifting songs as people shop or travel at stations and airports. There is a spread of goodwill and generosity.
I do hope that the mainstream media will reflect this even more, instead of news being full of envy of others, fear and dread more gratitude for just how incredibly lucky each and everyone of us truly is. No matter how painful or difficult our lives can be, do be assured that there are plenty of others who would genuinely swap their ‘pizza’ for ours.

Happy Thanksgiving one and all.

 

* Amanda now writes her blog under the name of Amanda Herter

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2 comments

  1. Hi Paula. I couldn’t agree with you more. Whatever life deals us we CAN always focus on the positives. It is easy (but not healthy or helpful) to concentrate on ‘what I have lost’, or ‘how I once was’ but for our well-being (and of those around us) we should turn our mind-set to thinking of the situation as ‘what I have had’ and the things we have been able to achieve. It is, perhaps, our human nature that makes it so easy to become all consumed by the pain (be it physical or emotional) and to get stuck into thinking negatively, but we do have the power to makes choices, and we can either take ourselves forward, having been changed by the situation, and having had to adapt from how life once was, or we can become stuck in the turmoil of wanting to change the things that have maybe initially devastated us, and might be desperately longing for the ability to ‘turn back the clock’, but we can never do that. The world around us is constantly changing, and we have to be constantly changing, and adapting, to be able to move forward. We can all reach the stage of celebrating what we have, or have been blessed to have had at some point, but we need to make the decision in our own time and be gentle on ourselves. We are each totally unique and have various ways of coping with changes, but ultimately we must keep looking ahead, using our experiences and emotions to shape our future and keep moulding us into the ever-changing beings we are, and to support others during similar life experiences, to show compassion and empathy and a TRUE understanding of how they feel, giving a sense of hope; togetherness and reassurance that they are not alone, but they are loved and cared about, and they can find a way through.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent. As usual. I use the phrase, everyone is dealt a different hand. It’s up to us to live the hand we are dealt, not try to or wish we could live someone else’s hand. But I think the pizza slices work better. Nice timing. From across the pond.

    Liked by 1 person

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