It has been one week since my pledge to be a more positive person, and I can say it's harder than you think. My goal is to not be 200% happy for a short amount of time, but to be 100% happy consistently. This means that I have to be very honest with myself. I have to often ask myself if I'm TRULY grateful for the thing I think I'm grateful for, or if I'm just saying I am in order to say: "It's been a week and my life is now rainbows and puppies!" Attitudes don't change in a week, because attitudes are personality habits, which are the hardest to break.
I think the struggle with becoming a grateful person is knowing how to sincerely appreciate what's around you. Let's face it, most of us fake our gratitude to appear to be the people we see on Oprah, but the reality is we focus on the bad way more than the good. I don't want to fake it. I've been praying a lot lately (like, REALLY praying) to know how to be more grateful. Today at church, we had a lesson on remembering. The central message of the lesson was that when we remember the good that God has given us, we can get through trials easier. But I got something else out of it that made me scribble this down with the scripture marker of the girl next to me:
Remembering the feelings of God's love in our lives leads us to be grateful for the things He's given us. And being grateful leads us to repentance, or striving to be more like Him, which always leads us to serving our fellow man which will always give us feelings of God's love for us. And so the cycle continues.
AHA! There it is! The secret to happiness in everyday life! Can you believe it?! The spirit just all of the sudden drew that exact picture in my mind! It's what I've been searching for!
Am I going to be perfect at this overnight? No. But I can now understand a little bit more how to give true and deep thanks to God.
Now, I'm not great at this, but I have made some progress. I only freaked out once this week about how much I hate my apartment, and I kept it pretty contained compared to other times. It was really hard to put my negative emotions in check, but in the end it paid off, and I was able to enjoy the rest of the night. Before, I would have been a storm cloud the whole following day. Movin' on uu-uup! I also ruined a cake and didn't even care, but ate it anyway. I have nagged my husband less (which he IS truly grateful for) and our marriage is on the up. Not that it was bad before, it's just been better. My husband has been more romantic because he loves me more when I smile, and we have started a good scripture study and temple attendance habit.
I did not keep a gratitude journal this week like I said I would. I struggled to be sincere in what I was grateful for, and didn't want to fake it. However, I was able to think of somethings that really do make me happy:
10 Things That Make Me Terribly Happy:
1.The feeling of my husband's bare feet under the covers.
2. The smell of fresh cut grass
3. Christmas Dinner