Nobody should have to be challenged in order to express gratitude, but I suppose sometimes we all need a little push. I’m accepting The Gratitude Challenge that has recently swept across social media channels. I’m jumping on the bandwagon in my own unpolished way.
THE TOUGHER THE SHELL… THE HARDER TO CRACK
Despite the fact that I am unpolished, I am not ungrateful. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t have ice cubes flowing through my veins. In reality, it is quite the opposite. I’m probably one of the most sensitive people around. My feelings often get hurt so as an unpolished defense mechanism, I guess I rely on a standoffish exterior to protect myself.
Over the past few years I’ve learned so much about vulnerability and the strength that comes from opening up and speaking your truth. There’s no denying my shell is tough and hard to crack; But once it’s broken the inside is unpolishedly pliable.
I’m grateful for the people who are more outwardly forthcoming with their emotions than I.
Because of them, I’m inspired to move away from old habits that in the past have prohibited me from personal growth. I can’t (and won’t) apologize for my rough around the edges persona, but I can admit to wanting to put my best foot forward in an effort to stay present and mindful of the here and now.
To the individuals whom have helped in making me feel safe enough to express feelings using a softer “refresh refresh” style in lieu of my more familiar “repress, repress” approach……… I am forever grateful.
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED… TRY A MILLION MORE TIMES!
I learned pretty early on in order to succeed you must first fail. And then fail again. And again and again and again. Though failing can be brutally difficult to deal with, it is a necessary life lesson. Rejection can be equally painful. I will never forget how I felt the day I got fired from a job. I will never forget how I felt when an old boyfriend ripped out my heart, chewed it up and then spit it back out when I was twenty-eight years old. I’ll never get used to that awful pit-in-my-stomach feeling when I receive a thanks-but-no-thanks letter from a publication that doesn’t think my work is up to snuff or my content is not in line with company philosophies.
I am grateful for every failure and rejection that has come my way because it has forced me to have moral and mental fortitude.
If not for all of my failures, I would never be as unpolished as I am today! Regardless of how many potential lemons the future may hold, I’m confident my true grit will be a vital ingredient in the next batch of lemonade. And should the mixture need an extra dose of unpolishedness to help temporarily soothe the soul, well I guess there’s always the Xanax!
FRIENDS ARE THE FAMILY WE CHOOSE FOR OURSELVES
If you’re lucky, having a solid family foundation makes all the difference in the world. Fortunately for me, my family is everything. We may be a dysfunctional motley crew of hard core unpolishedness, but family is family and family comes first! The gratitude I have for those in my crew is insurmountable!
I am grateful for the gift of unconditional love that comes from family no matter what.
I am blessed to have some amazing friends. So amazing in fact, I consider them to be an extension of my family. It’s swell to have a ton of friends coming out of the woodwork, but I’ve always cared more about quality over quantity. Some of my dearest are not so nearest and seldom do we have the opportunity to see each other. However when we do get the chance we’re able to pick up right where we left off and for that I am grateful.
Friends who are in it for the long haul, for the thick and thin, for the ups, downs, in betweens and sideways are the friends that become family by choice. For all of those friends, I am eternally grateful.
You know you’ve hit the jackpot when you’ve got a friend who cares enough to give it to you straight. By give it you straight, I mea
n someone who isn’t afraid to tell you when you’re not holding up your end of the friendship bargain. A friend who loves you enough for better or worse that they are willing to put it all out on the table and tell you in no uncertain terms that you suck!
Last December I received an email from a dear friend. Assuming it would be less of a chain letter and more of a cleverish funny letter, I happily clicked open the message.
Assuming was my first mistake.
It wasn’t a chain letter. It definitely wasn’t a joke. I had to re-read it about six times because the tears gushing down my face became a huge distraction.
She didn’t pussyfoot around. She went right for the jugular.
I must have had my unpolished head so far up my unpolished ass that I didn’t even realize the subject of the email in big bold letters read,
I won’t share the entire letter but I will share the one line I memorized:
“I truly see where I rank in your life but the difference is it is pretty even now. You have fallen quite a few rungs.”
It was gut wrenching to read that my actions (or the lack thereof) had hurt her. I may be a moody bitch and extremely unpolished but I would never set out to intentionally hurt someone; Especially when I consider that someone to be a close friend for over twenty years. If you’re craving an exercise in eye-opening humility, find a friend to tell you how shitty you are. Trust me, it works. I felt smaller than Lily Tomlin in The Incredible Shrinking Woman.
I am grateful for having a real friend who cares enough to say what they mean and mean what they say. Everyone should be so lucky.
NOTHIN’ MORE SERIOUS THAN THE NEED FOR A SENSE OF HUMOR
Maya Angelou once said, “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.” I couldn’t agree more.
Next to being unbelievably grateful for waking up physically healthy each morning, I am grateful for understanding how essential it is to have humor in my life.
I’m seriously serious! I’d die without laughter so obviously I have an enormous amount of gratitude for all of the unpolishedly funny, quick-witted people in the world who continuously make me laugh. You are as crucial as the air I breathe!
THE SMALL PLEASURES ADD UP TO A BIG AMOUNT OF GRATITUDE
Participating in the Gratitude Challenge has been a wonderful reminder to appreciate even the smallest of life’s daily pleasures that without I would greatly miss. Caller ID. Texting. Great wine. Gel manicures. Parmesan cheese. Bottled water. Foot massages. Cable TV. Electricity. Bubble baths. Music. Hot coffee. Spinal adjustments. Curse words. Weirdos. Staring at the moon. Putting my glasses on after a day of wearing contact lenses. Yoga. Power naps in Savasana. Rainy days. Remembering the sound of my Grandmother’s voice as if we had just spoken yesterday. A warped imagination. Noise. Silence. Freedom of speech. Inspirational quotes.
I am grateful that no matter how unpolished I may be, I will never be ungrateful.
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW…. Gratitude is contagious. When you are thankful and have a readiness to show appreciation, others want to do the same and return the kindness.
I’d like to think the essence of gratitude lies in the belief that even in our weakest moments or on our darkest days we can always find something to be grateful for. I hereby challenge all of my unpolished peeps to take a moment and think about expressing gratitude in your own life.
I am proud to dedicate today’s blog entry to two very special friends whose safety, wellbeing and overall life in general I am overwhelmingly grateful for.
Whitney & Gary… This one’s for you! xox